WHAT’S ON OCTOBER: A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad)

Award-winning theatre company Silent Uproar is bringing its critically acclaimed musical cabaret about depression to Glasgow after wowing crowds and critics alike at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe.

As part of its first ever UK tour, Silent Uproar presents A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad) at Tron Theatre from 25 to 27 October. Written by Olivier award-winner Jon Brittain (Rotterdam, Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho) with music by Matthew Floyd Jones (Frisky and Mannish), prepare to laugh, cry and even get a song or two stuck in your head.

Influenced by the company’s personal experiences and informed by interviews with people living with mental health problems and medical professionals, it’s a joyful, buoyant, gleeful, slightly silly, sugar coated, unrelenting and completely super happy show! Except for all the bits about depression.

The show is supported by NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group, which has not only funded performances at the University of Hull to raise awareness of mental health issues among students, but also arranged for the cast and crew to have mental health awareness training via Hull and East Yorkshire MIND. Silent Uproar is also hoping to have mental healthcare professionals at each performance. The idea is that if anybody is affected by the issues in the show, they will be able to talk to somebody afterwards.

Alex Mitchell, Artistic Director of Silent Uproar said: “We wanted to make a show that was entertaining, accessible and discussed depression without being a depressing show. From suffering with anxiety and bouts of depression, and seeing friends and loved ones suffer, I wanted something that said ‘do you know what it doesn’t matter if you feel sh*t today, it’s okay not to be okay. And most of all it’s okay to talk about it because the talking helps’.”

Silent Uproar is pioneering Pay What You Decide across this tour. Although commonly used by some venues, this is thought to be the first time a theatre company has used it across a tour. It is hoped the ‘try before you buy’ model adopted by the likes of Netflix, will attract new and more diverse audiences and more venues across the country will use it as a tool to develop audiences who might not currently think theatre is for them.

Dan Roper, Chair of NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Approximately one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year and worries about things like money, jobs and benefits can make it harder for people to cope.

“There is a growing body of research evidencing the positive role of the arts on health and wellbeing. We also know there is a strong link between poverty and mental health, yet low income can be a barrier to accessing the arts. By allowing audience members to pay what they can afford, this barrier is being removed, in effect putting them in control of their own social prescription.

The comedic and production style of the show draws from sources as diverse as Scott Pilgrim vs The World, Pixar’s Inside Out, Juno, and musicals like Cabaret and Chicago. The show won the Fringe First Award and Best Musical Award at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe.

To coincide with the show’s run at Tron Theatre, Tron Creative will be hosting several workshops addressing mental in the performing arts. These workshops are open to both members of Tron Theatre’s MAKER professional membership scheme, as well as non-members. Participants are invited to explore Self-Care in Conscious Theatre Practice with yoga instructor Lou Prendergast, as well as workshops focusing on Psychological Wellbeing in the Performing Arts with Dr Jane Oakland, an accredited BAPAM practitioner (British Association of Performing Arts Medicine) and professional opera singer.