Red Ladder awarded £10K to develop new play, The Parting Glass, tackling men's mental health - Red Ladder Theatre Company

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Red Ladder awarded £10K to develop new play, The Parting Glass, tackling men’s mental health

We’re thrilled to have received funding to further our work raising awareness of men’s mental health. Leeds Community Foundation has presented Red Ladder with a Men’s Suicide Prevention Grant funded by Leeds City Council, towards the development of a new play, The Parting Glass.

We’ll be touring the new play into non-theatre venues on our Red Ladder Local circuit in September, including pubs, community centres, sports clubs and working men’s clubs in Leeds, Wakefield and Barnsley. Each event will include a post-show Q&A session which will be facilitated by a mental health specialist.

The Parting Glass is a development of The Life and Soul, a short one-man production written by Leeds playwright Chris O’Connor, which Red Ladder has been touring nationally since 2016. Expanding its themes, it follows Jim – a likeable young man with a cheery and carefree persona who hides his struggles with depression, and introduces a second, female character.

After our September tour – info for which will be here – a national tour of theatres and community spaces will follow in spring 2020.

Rod Dixon, artistic director of Red Ladder Theatre Company says

We’re thrilled to be developing a new play with funding from Leeds City Council. As we’ve seen from touring The Life And Soul nationally for four years, theatre has an important and powerful role in addressing social issues, and promoting discussion – the lack of which is a major issue surrounding men’s mental health. Commissioning and touring The Parting Glass will allow us to engage with a wide variety of people in their own local environments, encouraging dialogue in an informal, entertaining and safe way and helping to break down the barriers that can prevent men from opening up about their mental health.

Cllr Rebecca Charlwood, Leeds City Council executive member for Adults, Health and Wellbeing, said:

We know that men are often less likely to talk about their feelings and there are a range of issues, from social isolation and unemployment, to relationship breakdown and feelings of not being valued in their community and society. We are committed to playing our part to reduce the stigma which prevents people seeking the help and support that can make things better and these grants are an excellent opportunity to fund innovative and targeted work which can make a difference.

Visit our showpage for more info about The Parting Glass and to book here.