Love Arts York looks at link between mental health and the arts

The Knot of the Heart comes to Love Arts Theatre on July 4th and 5th.

The Knot of the Heart comes to Love Arts Theatre on July 4th and 5th.

Local artists look at the relationship between mental well-being and the arts at this year’s Love Arts York festival.

The festival’s aim is to showcase the talents of local artists and features a series of performances, film screenings, workshops and exhibitions, culminating in mini-fringe festival, Love Arts Theatre, at Friargate.

Love Arts York is sponsored by Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and is delivered in partnership by York Mind, Converge, Magnetic Arts and The Retreat. Many artists and performers taking part have had direct experience of mental health problems or produce work which provokes a greater understanding of the related issues.

There are six theatre companies presenting six productions, with nine performances across Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th July. The performances vary from contemporary adaptations, puppetry, verbatim theatre, new writing and ensemble devising.

Love Arts Theatre

Saturday 4th kicks off with Anonymous Bosh Theatre Company’s production of David Eldridge’s The Knot Of The Heart. The play depicts one woman’s struggle with heroin, from party drug habit to full-blown addiction, and the central narrative follows her recovery through crisis intervention, detox, relapse and methadone treatment.

Bird on Head present Blu, a ten-minute play that takes a snapshot look at one couple as they begin to let down their barriers. This is followed by Are You Taking The Mick?, a devised performance from York St John University’s Conquer Theatre Company, which draws from lived and imagined experiences.

Brighton-­based duo Beardog will be performing Do You Mind? Using storytelling, puppetry and an old­school overhead projector, this solo performance is about one woman’s experience of generalised anxiety disorder. They will also be taking their show to The Fleeting Arms on Sunday 5th for a pay-­what-­you­-decide performance.

Saturday night headliners are Hedgepig Theatre, with their adaptation of Jean Genet’s black comedy The Maids. This production combines their storytelling skills with jarring movement work, live music, visuals and design.

There’s also Headaches, a verbatim piece comprised of personal testimonies, poems, monologues and songs, collected and adapted for the stage by University of York students.

Love Arts York runs from 29th June to 5th July.

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