An off-duty English policeman is about to throw himself off Beachy Head when he is met by a Ghanaian woman carrying a laundry bag & a cat box. Over the course of one night, two disparate characters learn what it truly means to be touched by the magic of hope.
Very sadly, Philip Osment, our co-artistic director and renowned playwright passed away earlier this year leaving Playing ON with his final script, Can I Help You?, a poetic examination of the role race & gender have to play in mental health & suicide
We are going to mount a high quality production of the play and will support it with our rich and innovative engagement practices in February and March 2020. We need your help to raise the funds to bring it to life.
The Project Partners
We have lots of brilliant partners - from NHS trusts to Universities and Drama Schools, as well as our fabulous partner venues Omnibus Theatre and North Wall - who are bringing their expertise, audiences and money to the table to support the project. Arts Council England need us to raise a further £3000 from this campaign to demonstrate the public desire for the work to be shown as well as the additional funds making the project more resilient - if enough people swap a coffee for a donation we can make the target really quickly!
The Story so far
Playing ON have been working in clinical mental health settings for 7 years, including The Maudsley, and Homerton Hospital. In 2017 we worked with East London NHS Foundation Trust and Theatre Royal Stratford East on a 6-week project with clinicians and service users. Can I Help You? is partly inspired by some of the characters created on this project.
In 2018, Arts Council England funded a work in progress of the piece, including the commissioning of the written playtext; the performance took place at Omnibus Theatre as part of an Engine Room scratch night.
Philip then continued to develop the script and did a rehearsed reading and was in the final stages of responding to the feedback when he sadly passed away. Working with Lin Coghlan, Philip's long time collaborator and friend, we will bring the script to life in the production and in the engagement programme alongside.
The Engagement Work
At our method’s core lies the understanding that by creating imaginary, characters inspired by real life, participants can explore complex situations & difficult conversations together in a joyous atmosphere of positive affirmation.
Based on this, we have designed a rich programme of work to be alongside the play including:
- an innovative pre & post workshop model
- day long symposia with clinical partners
- micro residency at Central School of Speech and Drama in collaboration with Selina Busby
- accessible and relaxed performances
- NHS night
- panel discussions
- pay what you can previews to ensure more people can access the play
- a community tour to Dragon Cafe, The Ortus at The Maudsley, St Pancras Hospital, taking the work to people who might not access it in theatre spaces
Risks and challenges
While we anticipate getting all rewards out on time, delivery of designed items may impact onward delivery to you.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)