Preview: Pub Talks at The Boat Shed

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Kill the Cat theatre company, The Bike Shed’s graduate company for 2016/17, will be performing their newest piece, Pub Talks, at The Boat Shed festival on 10 and 11 July.

The company, which was formed following Madeleine Allardice, Dylan Frankland and Megan Luke’s graduation last year, will be joined by performers Rosa Day-Jones and Tobias Grace. The show’s first appearance in 2016 saw it take over Old Timers pub, a setting which has always been integral to the piece. Frankland explains, “a pub is an environment where people relax and chat, but it’s not quaint, not cute. It can be loud and messy and ugly. It’s where debates are sparked, and we want discussions of mental health to be brought into this arena.” “Plus, we fancied a few pints”, Day-Jones adds.

This atmosphere of open and frank conversation is indicative of what Pub Talks is trying to achieve. Despite the fact that 4 to 10 per cent of people in England are expected to experience depression in their lifetime, it’s an issue which remains a taboo. While the team admit “there is going to be some stuff in it that’s really confusing, and messy, and painful”, they are proud to be opening up the conversation to those who don’t suffer from depression but want to try and understand it better.

Since Pub Talks’ debut, and the addition of Day-Jones and Grace, the company has been working hard to redevelop the piece. Frankland explains, “it had to change to reflect the different people now involved and their experiences with mental health.” Satisfied with the revised show, the team are hoping that the performances at The Boat Shed Festival will act as a springboard for them to tour the show, not just as a theatrical piece but outside of traditional theatre spaces. Their aim is for Pub Talks to be a learning experience, one which can be taken to schools, businesses and community spaces in order to shatter the stigmas surrounding mental health.

So, if you’re looking for theatre which promises to be honest, heartfelt and educational, head to The Boat Shed Festival. Grab your ticket for Pub Talks first, and then make your way to the bar.

Pub Talks is being performed at The Boat Shed Theatre (by the quay) on the 10th and 11th .July at 7:30pm. You can book tickets here.

-Ashton Wenborn

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