The Mental Health Foundation is delighted to announce that we are putting on an Edinburgh Fringe show for the first time.
A Gala For Mental Health will bring together top Fringe performers who are all exploring mental health issues. The show, supported by Pleasance Theatre, the Scotsman newspaper and See Me, Scotland’s programme to tackle mental health stigma and discrimination, will take place at Pleasance Beyond on Sunday 16 August. The line-up will consist of:
Felicity Ward (compere)
Felicity’s new Fringe show What If There Is No Toilet? is a hilarious and candid exploration of living with anxiety. The Australian comedian has also just made a new documentary, Felicity’s Mental Mission, in which she takes up the challenge of breaking down the stigma around mental health issues. The documentary will screen at Pleasance Above on 12 August at 10.20pm.
Mike McShane and Friends
The star of Whose Line Is It Anyway and Paul Merton’s Impro Chums is joined by some fellow comedy improvisers to pay tribute to Robin Williams – a grandmaster of improv who once made a scene-stealing guest appearance on Whose Line is It Anyway.
Le Gateau Chocolat
The acclaimed Nigerian cabaret performer’s intimate and confessional new show, Black, is a portrait of his hopes, fears and his battle with depression. He will be sharing an extract from the show with us.
Bryony Kimmings & Tim Grayburn
Bryony Kimmings, the maverick performance artist who brought us Sex Idiot, Seven Day Drunk, and Credible Likeable Superstar Role Model is back at the Fringe this year with Fake It ‘Til You Make It, a collaboration with her partner Tim, who has severe clinical depression. The show, she says, is about “the wonders of the human brain, being in love and what it takes to be a real man”.
Twice nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy Award, stand-up comic Carl Donnelly has been described as “an observational genius” by the Guardian. His new Fringe show, Jive Ass Honky, explores relationships, body issues and family – and also depression and therapy.
Lee Knifton, head of the Mental Health Foundation Scotland, said: “Mental health is an especially prominent theme at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, and it is very encouraging to see more and more performers being so open about their own experiences.
“In their different ways, Mike McShane, Felicity Ward, Bryony Kimmings and Tim Grayburn, Carl Donnelly and Le Gateau Chocolat, among others, are all helping to reduce stigma – and we are grateful to these talented performers for giving their time to help the Mental Health Foundation in pursuing that same goal.”
“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 will take place at the Pleasance Beyond, 10.15pm, on Sunday 16 August.
Tickets cost £10 and are available now via the Pleasance box office on 0131 556 6550 or online here.
The Scotsman newspaper is the event’s media partner. You can read interviews with some of the performers in the newspaper’s first daily Festival magazine on Saturday 8 August.