Playwright and performance poet Karis Halsall (MEGAPOLITAN, Little Stitches) joins forces with ‘All in’ director Stephen Sobal (Love Sick, Treading Water) to bring HYSTERICAL. Set between a frantic advertising agency and an inpatient facility; June, a virgin clown and her associates attempt to rebrand water, wellness and ‘madness’ and Madonna. Co-produced by HOAX (AUS/CAN/UK) and Luminary Theatre (UK) in collaboration with UCL.
Drawing on the creative teams’ experiences and developed in collaboration with academics and clinicians at UCL, Halsall’s new play examines how gender and modern day pressures can militate on our mental health.
"Often crazed and always sharply choreographed - a dark and vivid nightmare founded on human fragility" - The Argus
“Excels at creating an increasing chaos” – Exeunt Magazine
“A psychosis circus full of laughs” – Disability Arts Online
“A new avenue in the dialogue between mental health and theatre” – The Metropolist
Writer/ Karis E. Halsall
Director/ Stephen Sobal
Puppetry Direction/ Mikey Brett, Caroline Bowman & Charlotte Quartermaine (The Rainbow Collectors)
Cast/ Sarah Fraser (June) , Fionnula Kennedy (Mercedes) , Alice Trow (Catherine), Kristin Blakstad (Mary, Nurse Mary, Puppetry), Cameron Harle (Kris, Puppetry), Flavia Bertram (Lion, Puppetry)
Design/ Flavia Bertram & Avninder S. Nanray
Sound Design/ Lawrence Kendrick
Stage Manager/ Cassandra Fumi
Creative Production/ Karis E Halsall, Ayesha Tansey, Sarah Fraser, Flavia Bertram
Luminary and HOAX begin their creative collaborative after Luminary witnesses their brilliant work on the award winning show, Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone. HOAX produce provocative, unapologetic and contemporary work that blends text, physical theatre, dance and satire to give a voice to social, environmental and political issues and share a strong creative vision and aesthetic with Luminary Theatre.
Hoax and Luminary embark on a three day long R & D exploration of the initial idea for HYSTERICAL.
Luminary and HOAX secure the creative consultation of clinicians and academics from the Psychology department at University College London, particularly Dr. Katherine Hopkins, research associate at UCL.
With the support of UCL HOAX and Luminary engage in one more week of intensive R&D. They collaborate with clinicians, academics, mental health practitioners and mental health service users, to shape the play, and to begin to develop a vibrant, cross disciplinary outreach programme.
HYSTERICAL runs at THE VAULT Festival, for a series of preview performances from 3rd – 7th February 2016, following a 2 week dedicated rehearsal and development period in January. This development time is kindly supported by Platform Southwark, who provides in-kind rehearsal space.
The project is supported by the charity CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) who read the script to ensure it was not triggering, and provides the company with materials for post show distribution. As a thank you, the two companies draw together to throw a fundraiser, to raise funds for the project, with a charity auction in aid of CALM raising awareness and funds for them.
The show sells out it’s entire week long run, receiving rave reviews from it’s audiences, who vote it the PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD WINNER 2016.
Production & Tour
In May 2016, after a further and refining period, numerous re-drafts and three weeks of rehearsals, the next iteration of HYSTERICAL is ready!
The show embarks on a tour of the South East, playing the Mainstage at The Warren as part of Brighton Fringe, culminating in a London run at Stories of Being, a mental health and well being arts Festival in Southwark.