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Play on mental health makes an impact

IMPACTFUL: 'So U Think I'm Crazy' playwright Ekanem Hines

'SO U Think I'm Crazy?' is a drama production being staged at the Oval Playhouse in Kennington, south London, which aims to shed light on the issue of mental health, a growing problem within black communities; according to numerous studies by organisations including the Institute for Race Relations and countless public bodies.

The play was written by Ekanem Hines, director of Know Your Mind, a community theatre group based in Croydon and focuses on the character Mr. X, chronicling his journey through the mental health system.

Hines is a former social worker and Christian who tells The Voice that she wrote the play from a position of conviction. She explained:

“I believe mental health is an important subject that we don't often talk about, a taboo subject which is sometimes seen as separate from our physical well being. This play challenges this myth and exposes the very thin line, which we all tiptoe through..”

So U Think I'm Crazy was first staged in Croydon three years ago and since then it has been performed across London and the Royal College of Psychiatry in Birmingham.

Hines shared that the production packs a powerful emotional punch when staged:

“I’m amazed at the range of emotions people express when they see the play. They use words like 'overwhelmed'; 'emotional', 'impactful' and 'honest' to describe the play and often state that it should be shown to a wider audience.

“I am of the opinion that most people tread a thin line of ‘sane’ and’ sanity’," the playwright remarks.

"One must be prepared to talk about and listen to experiences of emotional and psychological trauma in an effort to minimise mental ill-health instead of the guilt, stigma and shame it conjures up.”

So U Think I’m Crazy is being showcased on Monday 18, Wednesday 20 and Thursday 21 September 2017 at the OvalHouse Theatre, 52-54 Kennington, Oval, London, SE11 5SW. Visit www.ovalhouse.com for more details.

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