Health professionals prescribe laughter for January Blues and Blue Monday..sell-out Studio show returns

Derby Theatre is thrilled to announce that one of their sell-out Studio shows from last season, A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad), presented by Silent Uproar, will return to the venue for ONE NIGHT ONLY on Saturday 25 May, and to beat the January back-to-work blues, why not book nice and early to guarantee your ticket?

A Super Happy Story is part of an In Good Company subsidised tour that will involve the East & West Midlands’ artist development scheme presenting the show to develop audiences for contemporary work in IGC venues. 

Ben Anderson (In Good Company Producer based at Derby Theatre) said:
“I'm super happy that we've got this show returning to the region as part of our In Good Company programme. It is key to our ambition of developing audiences for contemporary work. We want to make supporting the mental health and wellbeing of the independent sector a key priority issue with in the arts, and Silent Uproar have developed a great piece of theatre exploring this”. 

The production kicks off at Vault Festival as part of the New Diorama Takeover at the end of January before embarking on a UK tour, playing at Derby Theatre in May. 

Laughter really can be the best medicine according to NHS and mental health charities Mind and Mental Health Foundation who are backing an award-winning musical comedy that throws glitter at depression.

As Blue Monday (21 January) – reported to be the most miserable day of the year - approaches, health professionals are encouraging people to use humour to combat the grim aftermath of Christmas, while reminding people that depression can strike at any time of the year.

While our default position when we’re feeling down may be to hibernate, doing the opposite - even if we don’t feel like it - is what will get us out of our misery rut. According to experts, laughter soothes tension, music and mood are inherently linked, and spending time with friends makes you feel good.

A Super Happy Story was shortlisted for the Mental Health Foundation’s first ever Mental Health Fringe Award at Edinburgh Fringe 2017, is influenced by the company’s personal experiences and has been informed by people living with mental health problems and medical professionals.

The team spent a year researching for the show, interviewing 50 people living with depression, speaking to psychiatrists, the NHS, mental health nurses, mental health charity Mind and psychologists. The cast and crew have also had mental health awareness training from Hull and East Yorkshire Mind, organised by NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group.

In addition to the cast and crew being able to talk to people affected by any of the issues in the show, the company is also arranging for mental healthcare volunteers to be on hand after performances to signpost them to help available.

Dan Roper, Chair of NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group, said: 
“Christmas and New Year can be joyous times for celebration and getting together with friends and family. We know however that they can be times of heightened loneliness and isolation for those not fortunate enough to have the company of loved ones. It can also be a time for reflection on what might not be going too well in our lives The impact on mental well-being going into January can be profound so the return of A Super Happy Story with its positive messages is very timely.”   

Scarlett Scrivener from Hull and East Yorkshire Mind added: 
"There is no credible evidence to suggest that one day in particular can increase the risk of people feeling depressed. There are of course certain things that may make people feel down at this time of year, such as post-Christmas financial strains, broken New Year’s resolutions, bad weather and short daylight hours. However, depression is not just a one-day event. We want to remind people that depression can happen at any time and we are available to help people throughout the year. One in four people have problems with their mental health every year, but too often people are afraid to talk about it. Having these all-important conversations about mental health can make a big difference too many people. The more we talk, the more lives we can change.”

Written by Olivier award winner Jon Brittain (Rotterdam, Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho) with music by Matthew Floyd Jones (Frisky and Mannish), the show is a joyful, buoyant, gleeful, slightly silly, sugar-coated, unrelenting and completely super happy show. Except for all the bits about depression.

Alex Mitchell, Artistic Director of Silent Uproar, said: 
"We wanted to create something that challenged the notion that depression is just being a bit sad. We wanted to create a fun show for people who are living with it, but also for their mate that doesn't really believe that depression is a thing.”

Andrew Eaton-Lewis, arts lead for the Mental Health Foundation, added: 
“The arts are an incredibly powerful way to talk about mental health – to share experiences, tell stories, reduce stigma, and change minds. If you can turn a set of challenging and often distressing symptoms into a relatable human story, you can have a huge impact, personally, culturally and sometimes politically.”

"A mix of wit and low-key emotion that suddenly grips your heart"
Lyn Gardner, The Guardian (A Super Happy Story)

For more information about A Super Happy Story, and to book tickets, click here. 

FULL A Super Happy tour dates here.