The show has six acts each portraying a different character with a different mental illness. Augustus has spoken to many people with severe mental illness about their lives and their stories and has used these, along with his own experiences, to create these (mostly) imaginary scenes. He presents the characters each in their own style / genre – Chris is having a natter and a cuppa with a visitor, Larry is a hard-boiled private detective trying to solve a mystery, Doug just cannot get out of bed.
The aim is to show the struggles that those with mental illness have to overcome to live their extraordinary, normal lives, yet in a humorous, entertaining way, a few little songs help to keep the mood light too. Hopefully, audiences will leave with a little more knowledge, a little more sympathy and a little more laughter than when they came in.
Themes: Mental illness; involvement with health services; survival; recovery and the impossibility of recovery; humour in the darkest places
***** The Open Door …brutally honest, lyrical and thoroughly entertaining… His song ‘You Took the [W]hole [of] My Heart’ was simply stunning. With lyrics that could rival Morrissey or Ian Curtis
Highly Recommended Show Fringe Review He held our attention throughout. The characterisations were all very different. … This play deserves to be seen by more people and congratulations to Augustus Ste[ph]ens for his performance and courage.
Video Clip: Panic Attack video
Augustus Stephens writes and performs his own one-person-shows on themes that are important to him. After 25 years on the stage part-time he gave up other work to concentrate on something worthwhile and make a career making people happy.
For this third show of his he has brought the director Lucy Poulson on board to make a first-class show and it returns to the theme of mental health/illness. Augustus wants to make the lives of those with mental illness better and so he works to educate and to reduce stigma and he has been dreaming of creating a show like this for years.
Anyone who has had or has come across mental illness (most of the population)
People with more interest in character than plot
Number in company: 1
Personnel: Written, produced, performed by Augustus Stephens
Directed by Lucy Poulson
Running Time: 55 mins
Age: 16+ (mild sexual references, partial/covered nudity)
Types of financing: Fixed fee, Box office split
Rider: Augustus will be barefoot
Tech: One microphone on a stand for vocals
CD player / computer for sound (Act 5)
Availability: 2017: June / July and September – December
Contact: tel: 077 8687 1177
Augustus can use this show, or parts of it, to engage with people with mental illness and to educate those who may come across it in their work. Workshops/seminars available on request. (See Gremlins in our Minds}