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by Rachael – 5th Dec 2017

Zoetrope is an emotive play by Rebecca Manley which takes us on a very gripping story of seven people within Leeds struggling with mental health and their journey with it as they begin to rely on one another. This play is excellently written and very life-like on how it shows mental health within young people.  In my role as a MindMate Ambassador I had the pleasure of seeing a rehearsal at Leeds Youth Theatre and a live performance on opening night. MindMate and Leeds CAMHS have been supporting the development of the play. The actors were all amazing in how they delivered the play and how they supported one another throughout.

Group of young adults looking relaxed, smiling at the camera and doing peace signs

Taking time with your mental health

One of the most poignant parts of the play for me was a scene where Lili is at the canal and one of the actors started talking about the levels within the water as it was being presented for the canal and passing through there, it also resonated with me and the journey everyone takes with their mental health; especially as it talked about taking time.

“To move along through, to go up or down. You need to give it time, wait for the levels, matching them up in the chambers that sit side by side. And you can only open one, let the water in, when the time is right. Otherwise it’ll flood. It’s quicker going down than up, but either way it needs holding, waiting until the time is right, to pass through, safely, smoothly, up or down the stairs, to the next level.” Taken from Zoetrope script.

It was also a pleasure to work alongside Leeds CAMHS. MindMate and CAMHS had an information stand that had various mental health information for Leeds. It was a good experience to be able to talk to the public who had just come out from seeing the play and discuss and tell them all about MindMate. It was eye opening to hear stories of mental health journeys, to what they told us at the stands to the lovely heart-warming comments left behind on the chalk board (we were all able to leave messages about mental health and wellbeing on this wall). It was a great pleasure to work with and see how amazing the youth theatre, directors and writers are; to working alongside CAMHS.

Blackboard with someone writing on it in chalk. It says You are enough, never feel alone, i love you, don't feel afraid to share your emotions.

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