#EdFringe Gala 4 Mental Health

Jul 24 2017 | By More

Details of #EdFringe mental health gala & award announced

The Mental Health Foundation has announced a new award in recognition of the Edinburgh fringe show that most successfully addresses the subject of mental health, as well as it’s third annual gala.

The Gala will take place on Thursday 10 August at 11pm in the Pleasance Ace Dome, when comedians Carl Donnelly, Hannah Gadsby, Seymour Mace, Angela Barnes and Robert White will team up to explore the funny side of mental ill-health.

Carl Donnelly will compere the Gala For Mental Health

The new award is open to all productions at this year’s fringe that address the issue of mental health in some way or other.

It will be judged by a panel including playwright Alan Bissett, Linda Irvine the strategic programme manager for NHS Lothian, Andy Arnold artistic director of the Tron Theatre, playwright and critic Rebecca Monks, and theatre critic Mark Fisher.

Andrew Eaton-Lewis, arts lead for the Mental Health Foundation, said: “We have already identified a list of shows at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe that explicitly address mental health, but it will also be fascinating to see how the subject comes up in other shows across the festival, given the anxious times that we are living in.”

Fringe companies who think their show should be considered for the award are invited to contact Andrew Eaton-Lewis at aeaton-lewis@mentalhealth.org.uk.

lived experience

Eaton-Lewis added: “What is special about A Gala for Mental Health is that each show consists entirely of performers who talk about mental ill health from their own lived experience – in a way that is inclusive, disarming, unapologetic and very funny.

“Our gala shows are about solidarity and self-expression as much as raising money for a good cause. They have a unique atmosphere because of that.”

Angela Barnes, former mental health worker turned successful stand-up.

This year, Carl Donnelly takes on compere duties He has talked openly about living with depression in his shows and this year’s Fringe show, The Nutter on the Bus (performed daily on a double decker bus) is about spiritual awakenings and letting go of your past.

Donelly will be joined by Hannah Gadsby (fresh from winning Best Show at the 2017 Melbourne International Comedy Festival); Angela Barnes, (Mock The Week, Russell Howard’s Good News and Radio 4’s The News Quiz); Seymour Mace, whose new Fringe show Magical Shitcakes from Heaven sets out to ‘blow the lid off the happiness myth’; and musical comedian Robert White, who this year has written an opera(etta), InstruMENTAL about a personal experience that led him to spending time in prison.

Eaton-Lewis said: “Mental health has been one of the big themes of the Fringe for three years now, and A Gala for Mental Health is here both to celebrate and encourage it to continue. Mental health is something everyone should feel able to talk about openly without shame or fear of discrimination or other negative consequences.”

Lee Knifton, head of the Mental Health Foundation Scotland, said: “The Mental Health Foundation believes that everyone has the right to good mental health. Since 1949 we have been working to end mental health inequalities and we are committed to ensuring that this becomes a reality.

“We achieve tremendous national and international reach through our campaigns and online presence. We support the arts as they can challenge, provoke, and generate emotion, and our events engage tens of thousands of Scots each year. The arts tell us about who we are and who we can be, as individuals and communities – as well as being provocative, subversive, emotional, affirming, and fun.”


A Gala For Mental Health
Ace Dome, Pleasance Dome, Potterrow, EH8 9AL (Venue 23)
Thursday 10 August, 11pm.
Details and tickets: https://www.pleasance.co.uk/event/gala-mental-health-1#overview

Mental Health Fringe Award

Details of the award are here: https://www.mhfestival.com/news/346-introducing-the-mental-health-fringe-award
If you think your show should be considered for the award, which is “in recognition of the show that most successfully addresses the subject of mental health”, contact Andrew Eaton-Lewis at aeaton-lewis@mentalhealth.org.uk with the subject line ‘Mental Health Fringe Award’.


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