Tuesday, August 16

What He Said: A collection of short plays exploring male mental health

This July, the second show from Pique Niche Productions is coming to The Theatre at the Casa, Hope Street, Liverpool. What He Said showcases four plays from North West based writers. Each play explores mental health from a male perspective including the severe illnesses and death of loved ones, custody issues and the sense of belonging following the end of a romantic relationship, and political turmoil. We aim to raise awareness of issues affecting men in today’s society and these are four stories representing different aspects of that experience. We appreciate that gender exists on a spectrum and definitions of men and the male experience vary.

Pique Niche Productions is a Liverpool based theatre company supporting new writing from the North of England, particularly writing exploring themes around disability and mental health. Pique Niche’s Artistic Director, Donna M Day explains “What He Said came about after I was asked to direct Ian Gray’s Twister for another Company. Unfortunately, at the time the Company were unable to fully cast the piece which meant it was withdrawn from their showcase. Gray’s unique look at the effects of post traumatic stress disorder affecting soldiers and the ordinary people touched by war made me want to explore the male experience of mental health further. The play was of course written before the current war in Ukraine, which has reinforced my belief that these issues need to be reflected on more than ever.”

Performances are Friday 29th July and Saturday 30th July at The Theatre at the Casa, Hope Street, Liverpool, L1 9BP.

Tickets are available now (£8-10): https://piqueniche-what-he-said.eventbrite.com/

£1 from every ticket sold will be donated to the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) (reg charity no 1110621).

THE FOUR PLAYS

Both Parents Matter

Written by Mark Davoren

Director: Donna M Day

Four fathers come together at a support group as they discuss the ups and downs of custody battles and being a father after the end of their relationship with their children’s mothers. All four are desperate to have a relationship with their children, but new romances, old wounds and misunderstandings all make this difficult. “It cannot be denied that this piece will stop you in your tracks. [Davoren’s] writing is very clever in that it brings the audience on a journey.” North West End, review of Jigsaw by Mark Davoren

Twister

Written by Ian Gray

War is hell and the devastation is wreaks on the people left behind is even worse. De Lesseps is a university lab technician and is blindsided when he is taken in for questioning by two soldiers. What could they want from a man who has already been through so much? “Gray has overcome the major challenge in any short play of creating characters who are not only convincing on the stage, but who clearly have a life off it.” North West End, review of Hangman by Ian Gray.

Now or Never

Written by Donna M Day

Two lifelong friends, Pete and Martin, meet in a pub where they are catching up over a pint. Martin’s son, Christopher, is in on the waiting list for a kidney transplant, and the rest of his life is falling apart around him. Advice from an old and loyal friend might be just what the doctor ordered. “Donna M Day brings a fresh and bold approach to the naturalistic play, choosing to keep the local accents of the Liverpool cast and maintain a low-key approach that was filled with tension from the start to the brilliant climax.” Writebase, review of Liverpool Network Theatre Group’s A Doll’s House“When it works, it really works: Donna M Day’s “Godmother’s Fairytale Ending” reimagines Cinderella to tremendous effect.” The Independent Literary Fiction Blog, review of The Forgotten and the Fantastical 4

Pillow Talk

Written by Ste Mc

This monologue is an honest and captivating account of the role of men and mental health in today’s world. Considering the role of genetic predispositions to disordered moods and the impact they can have on family relationships, this is an insight into the a world that men don’t usually talk about. “[Mc] is able to capture and accurately portray the stories of ordinary people and present them in a way which is intriguing and relatable.” Opening Nights, preview of The Curious Imposter Christmas Show

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