Unique mental health show to tour Lincolnshire primary schools

A Lincoln educational arts organisation is touring primary schools in the county with a show raising issues around mental health.

The unique live show combining CGI special effects, live theatre and hit music has been designed by Lincoln-based Invisible Arts.

Marvellous Me has been created to make difficult subjects from eating disorders and depression to stress and bullying more accessible for primary school-aged children.

The show is the result of a collaboration from actors, set designers, graphic designers, software specialists, film makers and educational experts.

It will visit 20 schools from across the county and be performed in front of 4000 children, teachers and health professionals.

Marvellous Me is an accessible and thought-provoking journey starting with how Victorians treated mental illness through to the current issue of body image and photographic manipulation.

It also explores how the brain works using specially created fun characters such as Smarty Pants and Clever Clogs.

The story also features The Doctor, played by Lincoln actor Marcus Houden. With the help of his time machine and his little yellow friends, he helps 12-year-old Joe come to grips with understanding why he is feeling sad and anxious and what can be done to help him.

The script was written by Julie Fox informed by work carried out with Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Lincolnshire CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service).

The work has been funded by Enable East through their Big Lottery funded Well-being in the East portfolio and commissioned in Lincolnshire by Lincoln-based cultural solutions UK.

The organisation refers to research which shows that one in ten young people aged between five and 16 suffer from a mental health disorder.

Marvellous Me aims to encourage a more open dialogue about some of these issues and hopes to tackle the stigma often associated with mental health.

Jamie Marcus of Invisible Arts said: “We are really excited about the show, and seeing the reaction of the kids.

“There’s lots of innovation in the performance as we felt we needed to do something entirely different to engage young children in such a difficult subject as mental health.”

David Lambert of cultural solutions UK added: “Evidence suggests that mental health problems affect a staggering number of youngsters and we can’t address those issues until they are out in the open.”