When a close relative Patrick died by suicide our theatre company decided to use our skills as theatre makers to create something that helps to make a change. The challenge of course was what it should say or more importantly ask its audience. When his father and mother became involved in Papyrus it made sense to begin our creative journey by speaking to them. What has happened as a result is a creative partnership with Papyrus who have worked closely with us to help shape and mold the performance.
The performance works through inviting the audience to participate in a series of audio experiences with other moments of interaction creating space to explore how we talk about suicide. Most Things Are Quiet is written by playwright Stuart Crowther and is a autobiographical account of his own personal experiences on suicide. Built in to the performance are also interviews and recordings of young people from St Helen’s College, LIPA Six Form students and Tony Harrison, a father, also shared his story with us. The performance is an intimate journey that takes place through the streets and small spaces within Liverpool. Alongside this is a larger scale performance for young people that takes place within their college environment. To make the performance work we desperately needed the generosity of people and small business owners who have donated their spaces for free. Everyone we spoke to had heard of the work of Papyrus and sadly many people had their own personal story to tell of how this issue had effected them.
Most Things are Quiet aims to open up conversation and dialogue about the language we use around suicide, explores young people’s perceptions of mental health and what this means for them. It also explores the audiences own decisions about talking to each other about their own and others mental health. This has been a challenging, personal journey for the team and we thank Papyrus for their gentle, nurturing support throughout the development of the work. Papyrus’ ethos is at its heart.