New Production Explores The Reality Of Mental Health Challenges

An imaginative and moving story of a woman’s quest for direction following the loss of a loved one is on its way to Norwich Playhouse.

Electrolyte is presented by the Oliver Award-winning company Wildcard, and comes to the city as part of its first UK tour fresh from winning both the Mental Health Fringe Award and the Best Newcomer Title at last year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Taking to the stage on June 14, it tells the story of a woman called Jessie who is dealing with the recent suicide of her father. She meets singer-songwriter Allie Touch who is pursuing a music career in London and ends up following her to the capital in pursuit of her mother, who left her when she was young.

When Allie arrives in London from her native Leeds, she discovers the streets are definitely not paved with gold and the answers she is looking for are buried much deeper than she thought.

The show takes an innovative approach to story-telling as it is written entirely in spoken-word poetry and performed by six actor-musicians.

James Meteyard, who wrote Electrolyte and is also the director of Wildcard, said he is very excited to bring the show to Norwich. He explained: “When we founded the company in 2015, we had big dreams of taking our work to the regions and we are beside ourselves that these dreams are becoming a reality. Mental health is rightfully becoming something which is acceptable to talk about and we’re delighted to be part of the conversation.

“This show deals with tough subjects but has an uplifting message. We want to help people around the UK and Ireland to know that it’s okay not to be okay and promote the importance of community in combating poor mental health.’

It will also give audiences in Norwich and country-wide the chance to experience the strong messages of the show and performances within it. Andrew Eaton-Lewis, arts lead for the Mental Health Foundation, said: “Electrolyte is an exhilarating, inspirational show that tackles a very difficult subject with great sensitivity. We are supporting Electrolyte’s tour dates across the UK and are delighted that they will be helping to raise money for the Mental Health Foundation in its 70th year.”

As well as the on-stage performers, Wildcard boasts strong creative links. The production is directed by Oliver Award-winning Donnacadh O’Brien and the lighting designer is Tim Kelly, who is originally from Norfolk and a former acting student with Norwich Theatre Royal. Wildcard is also an associate company of renowned producers The Watermill Theatre, which regularly tours to the Theatre Royal and return there with a double-bill of plays by Shakespeare in the autumn.

Check out the trailer for the show below: