To raise money to put on Hearth’s professional production Revolving Door on June 26/27 about young male suicide, followed by a discussion with key campaigners about how to prevent it.
Revolving Door is a 40-minute play written by Polly Wright of the HEARTH Centre about young male suicide. Martin’s ghost is the coroner who conducts the inquest into the circumstances of his own death. Martin calls his mother, GP and psychiatrist as witnesses and explores their responsibility in his suicide, as well as his own.
On June 26 and 27th it will be performed at the Old Joint Stock, Colmore Row, Birmingham to the general public.
The play will be put on at the Old Joint Stock without subsidy, and funding from box office receipts is unlikely to cover the costs of a professional production. For that reason we would be incredibly grateful for donations to facilitate the effective presentation of this play and subsequent talk, in order to promote conversation about this most secretive of subjects and help people not only to talk, but to access help if they need it.
The latest figures show that rates of suicide in males are three times those of females (16.8 per 100,000 in males compared to 5.2 per 100,000 in females).
A research report led by the Samaritans looked at the complex reasons that may explain why men are more likely than women to take their own lives. Factors including unemployment, relationship breakdown, and fragmentation of social relationships play their roles, along with barriers to talking about emotions and seeking help.
The play has been performed over 100 times and was shortlisted for a National Media Award for work in Northern Ireland, where it was evaluated as the most effective intervention in an anti stigma campaign run by Rethink in 2007.
Revolving Door, produced by the Hearth Centre has been professionally performed regularly all over the country at various times over the last fifteen years since it was first researched and written. It is regularly used in the training of health professionals and to promote discussion with people with lived experience of mental ill health.
With the upturn in young suicide figures, and the recent interest in Aiden’s story line in Coronation St. the Hearth Centre believes that the time is right to contribute to a national conversation about suicide and how we prevent it.
We are seeking investment in developing a suicide prevention package for young people in which the play is used to trigger honest conversation about thoughts and feelings which lead to suicide and to explore suicide prevention approaches . The Hearth Centre wants to use the performance of Revolving Door at the Old Joint Stock to engage interest both amongst the community and with potential stakeholders to support the national roll out of a partnership programme involving events for young people which includes:
- A Performance of Revolving Door plus
- Forum Theatre- A facilitated group conversation through drama
- Local information about sources of mental health support.
The Hearth Centre always follows performances of the play with interactive discussions about the topic- and on June 27th, Jonny Benjamin (OBE) will be in conversation with Dr Erin Turner (Consultant Psychiatrist at Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Trust) after the performance.
Jonny wrote a book about his suicidal attempt called Stranger on the Bridge, when he was stopped from throwing himself off a London bridge by a passer by who was unknown to him. The documentary version of the accompanying film is available to view on E4
Jonny recently saw Revolving Door and said that the story the play told of a sensitive young man struggling with suicidal impulses from childhood onwards, was very close to his own. He endorses the play, saying that it was “amazing” and recommending everyone to see it in order to understand his lived experience better and promote suicide prevention..
Dr Turner also endorses the power and effectiveness of the play and regularly uses it in the training of junior psychiatrists and other health professionals. The date of the play’s performance has been chosen to co-incide with an international conference of the Royal College of Psychiatrists at the Birmingham ICC.