The Power of Performance is happening in our Stage Two building this month as part of our latest Creative Matters season which is focusing on men’s mental health. The theatre’s learning and participation assistant Sydney Burges looks at the experience so far and what else is in store.
As part of our exploration of male mental health, MensCraft (a Norwich-based charity) is getting involved and is leading two events The Power of Performance, Parts 1 and 2. The first part saw professionals and like-minded people from East Anglia get together and discuss the importance and value of using the arts and theatre to combat men’s mental ill-health with a specific focus on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
But what about Part 2? That is taking place on the 25th of January at 8pm. This event has been created by Andy Wood from MensCraft, theatre director Thomas Bailey, and a group of 12 willing men. Over the course of January the group have been meeting up, recalling stories and sharing past experiences with the aim of creating a theatrical performance to show on the 25th. The theme they have been working on is Masculinity and how men are influenced and shaped by cultural norms and the effect that this has on well-being. The culmination of these rehearsals will be a performance based on the foundation of their own experiences.
Andy Wood is leading the Power of Performance and has spent over 20 years working and helping men. He said that his ‘Eureka Moment’ came to him when he was creating a piece of theatre at a recreational family craft week and he realised that working together to create theatre about being a man sparked conversation with the participants about their own baggage and process. This then escalated into the creation of Men’sCraft, a charity to help men improve their overall wellbeing through the process of creating and working ‘shoulder to shoulder’.
When you come to the event you can expect to leave with a greater understanding of how the ideology of masculinity can impact men, how they can channel energy into positive activities, and create inspiration, a greater level of confidence and openness among the men taking part in the process.
Andy was keen to make sure that the audience is aware that the performance is also part of the process for the guys taking part sharing their stories to people that they may or may not know is an important aspect of taking part in this scheme.
We have lots of events on this month in connection with men’s mental health, as part of Creative Matters. Find out more at bit.ly/creativematters
To book tickets to the Power of Performance, Part 2 or any other part of Creative Matters, log onto www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk or call the box office on 01603 630000.