Early in 2017, Johnny Wolf was working at StageWrite, a new-writing festival in Bedford and got to direct the script Failing At Failing. He and everyone involved fell in love with it.
The play, Failing At Failing, is extremely funny, moving and thought-provoking and stands as an excellent piece of theatre in its own right. However, beyond its artistic value, we were amazed at the frank and easy conversations it prompted after the show about mental health.
It turned out that the writer (the amazing Serafina Cusack of Appetite Theatre) was based in Sydenham and it definitely felt like there was a role for us in taking the play to a wider audience.
Good Wolf’s aim is to raise funds for a full production in the future, but meanwhile we wanted to explore how and where this show can be used to help destigmatise mental health issues and generate positive conversation.
To that end we staged a rehearsed reading in August 2017, inviting our audience (especially anyone with a personal or professional interest in Mental Health) to watch the show, chat about it in an informal setting afterwards and provide us with feedback on how they thought we might be able to use it to prompt a positive, open dialogue about mental health.
The feedback was incredible – both in terms of the response to the play and the ideas about where it might be used to make a significant difference to people.
Over the rest of the year we will be following up on the audience suggestions and working with Serafina to help really change the conversation around mental health with this exceptional play.