Mental health awareness and care have dominated the news of late, yet an oft-overlooked aspect of this is the language used about (and regularly directed at) sufferers. With Added Nuts is an hour-long performance by Sean Burn, a self-taught and internationally renowned artist who has himself struggled with mental distress and seeks to reclaim the narrative from the existing hierarchy.
A writer and performer with a raft of experience, Sean Burn was 2016’s Jessie Kesson Literary Fellow at Scotland’s writing Centre, Moniack Mhor, and has mentored at Centre Celf in Wales, working with other disabled and excluded artists. His work regularly takes on psychiatry-privileged storytelling, not science, based on his history as a psychiatric survivor. Actively involved in disability arts, he’s part of the Mad Studies North-East collective. With the show fusing disability arts with spoken word, acts of creative resistance, opportunities for participation and real art prizes, it’s likely to be an immersive, challenging and thought-provoking piece that will invite you to consider who controls language and behaviour and implore you to stand in solidarity at a time when it’s becoming less and less easy to do so.
Leading up to his residency at Arthouse and the Mental Health Museum in Wakefield later in 2017, With Added Nuts is at Alphabetti Theatre between Wednesday 1st and Thursday 2nd February. It’s an opportunity to stress test your preconceptions: would you be nuts to miss it? Are we crazy for saying that? This is a chance to examine the language of sanism and find the hidden beauty beneath those words.