Tonight, join us for our Zoom Q&A about Living With The Lights On – the film, a lockdown adaptation of Mark Lockyer’s acclaimed solo show about his experiences of mental illness. All this week, you can watch Men In The Dark, short films exploring male mental health, and In Her Shadows, a stunning physical and aerial theatre show exploring the complexity of depression. 

Living With The Lights On – The Film

Tonight, join us for a Q&A with Mark Lockyer about Living With The Lights On – the film, still exclusively available to watch on the SMHAF website. Created entirely during lockdown, it received a 5* review from Joyce McMillan in The Scotsman, who described it as “an outstanding contribution both to this year’s online SMHAF festival, and to the wider emerging world of art and performance created in lockdown, during this rare moment of reflection and disruption”. 

Watch the film here and register to book your place for this evening’s conversation. 


This week’s short film programme is Men In The Dark, which explores issues relating to male mental health, including addiction, eating disorders and trauma. The titles include the winner of the Animation award at SMHAF 2020 – My Dad’s Name Was Huw. He Was An Alcoholic Poet. – as well as documentary Down The Rabbit Hole and the experimental Man In The Dark.

You can also join us for a Zoom discussion at 8.30pm on Thursday 18 June with directors Freddie Griffiths, Mike Webster and Julian Triandafyllou. Register for your place here.


Our final online theatre show is In Her Shadows, a stunning dance-mindscape featuring aerial and physical theatre, which explores a young woman’s relationship with the complexity of her depression whilst challenging the stigmas that surround it. The show was a collaboration between A Blank Canvas and Jabuti Theatre, with award-winning director Cora Bissett. It concludes with a brave, candid and moving poem called ‘Today’ by Scottish poet Jenny Lindsay, written in response to the process by which Jenny was given a mental health diagnosis and asked to answer various questions on a scale of 1-10.

Debbie Robbins, artistic director of A Blank Canvas and founder of Air Control Pilates, says: “I used ten years of my life story to express the inner struggle I had with depression and in 2014 gratefully received funding from Creative Scotland to enable me to work with a creative team to make In Her Shadows. In today’s emotional rollercoaster ride that the world is experiencing through Covid-19 we can find ourselves in various states of panic, anxiety, depressive thoughts, doubt and uncertainty – and sometimes guilt too. I hope you can benefit from the mercurial words which are echoed in the dance sequence, bringing a creativity to the journey we are globally experiencing right now.”

Watch In Her Shadows here

Finally, don’t miss the latest of Skye Loneragan’s series of quirky, questioning process-bites in the development of a new online version of Though This Be Madness. It beautifully highlights the joys and challenges of working from home with young children – especially when that involves creating a theatre show in your living room!