“Showcase Live” – 20th November 2008


Young men talk about life in Leicester in new performance showcase

Seven young men from Leicester are being given the opportunity to voice their experiences of life in a brand new show featuring music, poetry and film. They are being supported by nationally acclaimed, professional artists as part of a groundbreaking project to help mental health service users.

Lydia Towsey, Executive Producer, BrightSparks Arts in Mental Health Group:

“Young men experiencing mental health issues, particularly those of black or minority ethnic origin, face a wide range of health and social inequalities. ‘Showcase Live’ will help to raise the profile of this under represented group by presenting their stories in an exciting and contemporary way.”

Showcase Live poster

Showcase Live poster

‘Showcase Live’ takes place at The Y Theatre in November. It is a partnership project, led by BrightSparks. It is supported by Akwaaba Ayeh and Mainstream Partnership and funded by The Community Development Foundation and Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust.

‘Showcase Live’ will take place on the 20th of November 2008, at The Y Theatre, 7 East Street, Leicester, LE1 6EY. To reserve a ticket (priced £7 or £5 for concessions), please contact The Y Theatre Box Office on 0116 255 7066 or at www.leicesterymca.co.uk.

For more information, contact Lydia Towsey on mobile 07888 847840 or via email: secretagentartist@hotmail.com.

Showcase Live is online: www.showcaselive.co.uk
Also on myspace and facebook.

Additional Information

The young men have been working together on this project since September, mentored by experienced poets, and with excellent creative support. You can read more in an earlier article on this website.

A word from our sponsor

Antony Sheehan, Chief Executive of Leicetershire Partnership NHS Trust:

“The Showcase Live project provides a great opportunity for people to express their feelings in ways that may feel more culturally appropriate and comfortable to them.

“Young black and Asian men still experience poorer mental health outcomes nationally and this needs to be tackled. We need to challenge some of the established methods we use to engage with people and develop new and better ways to connect with communities and individuals, that are meaningful and right for them.”

Creative Team Comments

Melanie Abrahams, Showcase Live Creative Director:

“I’m delighted to be involved a showcase that tackles the real day-to-day issues of mental health for young men in Leicester, in a way that enables them to have their own voice and to produce writing and performance for a public shared platform.”

Francis O Donnell Smith, Showcase Live Designer:

“Material produced by all participants so far, during the middle stages of the workshop process is simply and yet profoundly resonant. Hearing each monologue provokes a reality check; reminding us of uneasy social truths, voicing commonly shared world views and revealing authentic experiences of modern, metropolitan living.”

Keith Allott, Showcase Live Film Maker. Line Out:

“We have thoroughly enjoyed being involved with Showcase Live and hearing the creative and innovative written word pieces by the participants. We are now looking forward to moving into the film production process and working in partnership with the artists to interpret their thoughts in creating exciting and expressive moving image pieces.”

Dave Dhonau, Showcase Liver Composer. Aurelie:

“It is a privilege to use my experience in sound composition in positive involvement with the Showcase Live project, particularly as mental health is a subject close to my heart. Development meetings provide a stimulating environment for organisers, mentors and participants alike to grow creatively and learn from one another.”

Carol Leeming, Showcase Live Communications. Mainstream Partnership:

“Mainstream Partnership is delighted to partner innovative work as the Live Showcase project. We proactively champion work by BME artists in the region, to give voice to unheard or marginalized voices. To continue the huge success, the artistic quality of both the Freedom Showcase 2007 and BASS Festival Poetry Slam 2008. Our challenge in this region, is to mainstream the work of our BME artist members with the committed support of our arts cultural stakeholder members.”

Dr Thedore Stickley, Showcase Live Researcher. Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, University of Nottingham:

“I’ve been asked to lead on the evaluation of Showcase Live. Young people with mental health problems face stigma and discrimination that might follow them for the rest of their lives. Young black men especially may face a double dose of stigma and discrimination because of negative stereotypes. Showcase Live is a unique and dynamic project that creates artistic opportunities for young men to learn and grow, whilst developing exciting and original material that culminates in public performances. Participants will be genuinely contributing to the cultural programme of Leicester in the Autumn of 2008. What gives this project the edge, is that the participants are mentored by professional artists of international repute. Showcase Live is not a “flash in the pan” concept, it is an idea whose time has come. I am confident that it is a powerful project that will be an inspiration to those who use mental health services as well as arts & health workers around the country.”

Matt Hassall, Showcase Live Photographer:

“I am extremely proud to be involved with such an important project, as i’m photo-documenting the workshops and final show its given me a real insight into the internal workings of the project and its clearly visable how much of a difference it makes to the lives of so many and how much attention its bringing to issues normally too taboo to talk about in a modern society.”


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One Response to ““Showcase Live” – 20th November 2008”

  1. Showcase Live 2008 « Brightsparks Says:

    […] Live 2008 By Martin A film is being produced of the show. Extracts from the film, some photographs and other material will be going on to the Showcase Live […]

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