Welcome to the BEDLAM Arts and Mental Health Festival 2019 – a celebration of the arts, mental health and wellbeing.
1 in 4 people in the UK experience a mental health problem each year. In England, 1 in 6 people experience a common mental health problem (such as anxiety or depression) each week. So whether you’ve experienced this, or know someone who has, you’re not alone. It’s vital to share your stories – and taking part in the arts is a natural way to do so.
Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, together with Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Midlands Arts Centre, Sampad South Asian Arts and our new partner Geese Theatre Company, are thrilled to bring you a diverse programme of world premieres, visual art and film as well as powerful live performance through theatre, spoken word, dance and music.
We’re particularly excited about our new commissions. Marking World Mental Health Day on 10 October 2019, Geese Theatre Company present Playing The Game, a journey through a century of maternal incarceration based on a series of drama workshops with residents and staff at HMP Peterborough. The theme for this year’s World Mental Health Day is Suicide Prevention, and the world premiere of Birmingham Repertory Theatre and the Olivier Award-nominated Les Enfants Terribles’ play The Thing explores the growing problem of suicide in young men.
Sampad’s new production, No Bond So Strong, is a life-affirming show about motherhood and holding family together when you find yourself unravelling. Artist Jenna Naylor creates an ever-growing menagerie of creatures drawn directly onto walls at MAC, inspired by their exhibition by Jim Holyoak and Matt Shane, The Hills Are Shadows. Plus much more!
Now in our fourth year, we hope that BEDLAM continues to reduce stigma, and encourages honest discussions around mental health – all with some fantastic performances. Whatever your age or background, there’s something for everyone. Follow the conversation online @BEDLAM_festival and using #BEDLAM2019. We look forward to seeing you there.