A hilarious, award-winning, joyful, buoyant, gleeful, slightly silly, sugar-coated, unrelenting and completely super happy musical. Except for all the bits about depression.
Award-winning Silent Uproar is taking their critically acclaimed show A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad) on the road, in a national tour supported by NHS Hull CCG.
Written by Olivier award winner Jon Brittain (Rotterdam & Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho) with music by Matthew Floyd Jones (Frisky and Mannish), prepare for a hilarious cabaret musical about depression that explains why it’s OK to not feel OK. You’ll definitely laugh; you might cry: and you’ll totally get a song or two stuck in your head.
The show, which won the Fringe First Award and Best Musical Award at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe, will tour 27 venues with two shows here in Hull on November 1 & 2 at Hull Gulbenkian Centre, Hull University.
Playful and provocative, a style that has become synonymous with Hull-based Silent Uproar, the show is influenced by the company’s personal experiences and informed by interviews with people living with mental health problems and medical professionals.
The show is supported by NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group, which has not only funded the performances at the University of Hull to raise awareness of mental health issues among students, but also arranged for the cast and crew to have mental health awareness training via Hull and East Yorkshire MIND. Silent Uproar is also hoping to have mental healthcare professionals at each performance. The idea is that if anybody is affected by the issues in the show, they will be able to talk to somebody afterwards.
Alex Mitchell, Artistic Director of Silent Uproar said: “We wanted to make a show that was entertaining, accessible and discussed depression without being a depressing show. From suffering with anxiety and bouts of depression, and seeing friends and loved ones suffer, I wanted something that said ‘do you know what it doesn’t matter if you feel sh*t today, it’s okay not to be okay. And most of all it’s okay to talk about it because the talking helps’.”
Silent Uproar is pioneering Pay What You Decide across this tour. Although commonly used by some venues, this is thought to be the first time a theatre company has used it across a tour. It is hoped the ‘try before you buy’ model adopted by the likes of Netflix, will attract new and more diverse audiences and more venues across the country will use it as a tool to develop audiences who might not currently think theatre is for them.
Dan Roper, Chair of NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Approximately one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year and worries about things like money, jobs and benefits can make it harder for people to cope.
“There is a growing body of research evidencing the positive role of the arts on health and wellbeing. We also know there is a strong link between poverty and mental health, yet low income can be a barrier to accessing the arts. By allowing audience members to pay what they can afford, this barrier is being removed, in effect putting them in control of their own social prescription.
“This particular show has the added benefit of being informed by healthcare professionals, and there will be a team of volunteers from Hull and East Yorkshire MIND available after performances to talk to people affected by any of the issues in the show, and to be able to signpost them to help available.”
David Smith, Chief Executive at Hull and East Yorkshire Mind added: “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 to many people. The more we talk, the more lives we can change.”
The comedic and production style of the show draws from sources as diverse as Scott Pilgrim vs The World, Pixar’s Inside Out, Juno, and musicals like Cabaret and Chicago.
Co-produced by Hull UK City of Culture 2017, the tour has been made possible with the support of Arts Council England, house touring network, Hull City Council, New Diorama Theatre, NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group and Hull Truck Theatre.