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30th Jun, 2022

Men and suicide - Redditch playwright pens path to sanity through stand up

Redditch Editorial 8th Oct, 2015 Updated: 18th Oct, 2016

A TRIP to the brink and back again is on stage at the Palace Theatre this Saturday – and the audience have a rare chance to have their input into the production before it goes on a nationwide tour.

The Gary & Robert Blues by local playwright Andy Higgitt tackles the thorny subject of men’s mental health through one man’s journey – but before running for the exit Andy promises it won’t be heavy going as the hero’s path to recovery is through doing stand up comedy.

“It’s a look at one man’s journey through his mental health problem – and there will be pathos and truth about mental health and the way that society looks at it,” said Andy.

The title of the play comes from the fates of former Wales footballer and manager Gary Speed who was found hanged in 2011 and Germany international goalkeeper Robert Enke who stepped in front of a train in 2009.

“These were two men who seemed to be in a great position and their lives suffer these problems yet they never talk about them and it always comes as a shock when they die,” said Andy.

“Is it unmanly for men to talk about mental health? The play looks at why men do not talk about it – although I think that society is slowly turning a corner so men can admit to having these issues.”

The play, a one man show starring Stephan Bessant, is by Forthright Productions, and the hour-long preview performance will be followed by a question and answer session with the audience where their input will be welcome to shape the future direction of the work.

The company would also like to thank Hughes electrical shop by the Palace for lending them a television for the play.

It’s curtain up at 7.45pm at the Palace and tickets cost £5 from the box office on 01527 65203.

The play will then go to Artrix in Bromsgrove on Sunday (October 11) with tickets at £6 on 01527 577330, curtain up ay 7.30pm, before moving on to The Cube in Malvern and then into theatres nationwide.

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