independent

Friday 27 April 2018

A Face in the Crowd with an important message

Jim Roche, Director and Actor in 'A Face in the Crowd'
Jim Roche, Director and Actor in 'A Face in the Crowd'

David Tucker

Wexford Mental Health Association's highly-successful Discover Recover Theatre Project - 'A Face in the Crowd' will be touring this November and January.

Now in its second year, the group will perform in The George Bernard Shaw Theatre, Carlow, on Thursday November 16, The Presentation Centre, Enniscorthy, on Friday, November 17 and Wexford Arts Centre on Thursday, November 23 and Friday, November 24.

The tour will culminate with a performance at the prestigious Mental Health Awareness festival First Fortnight in Dublin's Smock Alley Theatre, in Temple Bar, on Thursday, January 4.

The Discover Recover Project was set up by Paula Lowney and Mairead Connaughton, both Senior Occupational Therapists, along with the playwriting skills of Community Mental Health Nurse Niall O'Muiri.

They asked people with 'lived experience' of mental health challenges to share their stories and their experiences of recovery with the aim that others would have the opportunity to learn from them. Through the shared stories the group developed a written piece of drama which resulted in the development of 'A Face in the Crowd'.

'The real human experience of mental health difficulties, are all around us, but we often don't see it. It is rarely spoken about and the details of the impact on individuals and families are rarely shared. This project through the sharing of sincere true life stories offers not only a rare glimpse into a hidden world, but also offers enlightenment and hope,' said Paula.

This project is a partnership between the HSE Mental Health Services, the Wexford and Carlow Mental Health Associations, ESB Funds for Generations and the National Lottery.

The project originated in Wexford in 2015, with sell-out performances in the Wexford Arts Centre between December 2015 and January 2016.

In November, 2016 a schools version toured secondary schools in Wexford County with very positive feedback. Schools performances will take place ahead of the main venue performances followed by feedback sessions.

For more information on the project call Paula Lowney 087 2754752 paula.lowney@hse.ie

Enniscorthy Guardian

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