Snapshots of a rehearsed reading of extracts at Bedlam Arts and Mental Health Festival 2021

A Play in Progress

“Fantastic writing beautifully depicting a realistic representation of mental health struggles in action, aiding both those who struggle with their mental health as well as those who wish to help them. Bravo!”

“It particularly helped me understand how to navigate one’s way through said conversations, without triggering or prompting a negative reaction to an already vulnerable person.”

This was what audience members were saying after seeing extracts of Lifeline performed at Bedlam Arts and Mental Health festival last year.

Lifeline is a play about what it is to listen to someone when they feel they can’t go on. It’s a set of harrowingly human conversations that are challenging and at times deeply uncomfortable, yet with an enduring sense of hope. It’s a very minimalist piece, stripped right back to the beautiful, raw, awkward reality of being human together. It follows a central character as he supports three very different people, a close friend, his Grandma and a stranger on the train.

I’ve been a listening volunteer at Samaritans for over two years. I have spoken to so many people in that time who didn’t want to go on. Lifeline is at once fictional and deeply real, drawing on the experience and lessons learnt on those phones, supporting someone close to me in my own life, and a few interviews with survivors or those left behind. From hearing those voices and from my own experience, it’s a story I felt I needed to write.
The long term ambition:
  • Perform Lifeline in theatres to as many people as possible.
  • Tour Lifeline around schools (year 11+). Work with Samaritans to deliver listening skills/awareness workshops alongside the play.
  • Have Samaritans volunteers present at shows for post-show discussions, distribute outreach resources and collect donations.
Who’s already on board?
  • Birmingham Repertory Theatre have pledged free use of their rehearsal space and a night in one of their theatres pending availability. They’re also providing creative support and providing me with networking links.
  • I’ve had an expression of interest from Paul McDonald, the Executive Director of External Affairs at Samaritans, as well as local Samaritans Branch Directors who have enthusiastically confirmed their interest and support.
How you can help me get there:
  • Funding to deliver a week-long rehearsal/R&D intensive, culminating in a performance to invited sponsors, theatre professionals and education representatives. This will enable me to gain interest from potential host theatres and schools. It will also support me in putting in a bid for an Arts Council Project Grant, which, if successful, will be critical in taking the project to fruition. Drop an email to [email protected] to discuss potential sponsorship etc, or make a donation here