Being a human is tough. No one gets out alive. Just as we all have a responsibility to care for our physical health, we have a responsibility to look after our mental health too. We cannot wait for this illusory concept of “mental health” to become a matter of life-and-death. We need to be ready to talk about the struggle daily, now. Yet we know that invisible battles can be the hardest to fight.
This theatrical company’s purpose is to break down some of the boundaries and stigma surrounding mental health, by exploring them in boundary-breaking, stigma-busting art forms.
We believe in breaking taboos that threaten our wellbeing.
For so long, “mental health” has been a taboo subject. You know what else has been (and still can be) taboo? Boobs. Taboobs. That’s just one reason why we believe the art form of burlesque and cabaret is uniquely placed to explore the way we humans experience our minds and their (dys)functionalities. Burlesque and cabaret can broach difficult subjects using mischievous, self-aware means, boldly treading where the straight-laced research paper and the well-meaning infomercial dare not go. We believe in liberating ourselves and others from the shame that is attached to mental health issues.
We believe that mental illness should not be glamourised or romanticised.
We do not intend to stick sequins on self-defeat, rhinestone anxiety, or embellish existential despair. What we do believe in is using the tools of performance, comedy and entertainment to open up the discussion of what mental health means to each individual in the audience. We use our larger-than-life artistic choices to nurture freedom of expression in what is still a highly stigmatised realm.
We believe in the power of satire, but not in using mental illness as a punchline.
The root meaning of ‘burlesque’ is to parody. We believe it is society’s current approach to mental health which is worthy of parody. We want to send up a system which suppresses open and honest discussion about mental struggles, and send a message to the audience that they are not alone, and that they are valid and worthy of help. We pride ourselves on first-class research and rigorous empathy, to ensure that the subjects we broach are presented with both resonance and compassion.
We believe that everyone is worthy of good mental health, and that there is no shame in asking for help.
This company believes that each member of the troupe, of the crew, of the audience, of the world, is a unique and valuable individual with something unique and valuable to offer. Mentally speaking, this uniqueness may come with quirks, challenges, or downright battles. These battles do not have to be fought in the shadows. Each individual deserves and needs to know that help is available, and there is nothing to fear in this. Indeed, rather than fear, humanity should be celebrated in all its pomp, circumstance, and perceived ridiculousness. The parts we try to hide in ourselves – the sections we wish to keep invisible – are still worthy of love. We believe in promoting self-care through laughter, colour, riotous fun, swishy capes and soapy bubble baths.
We hope our distinctive aesthetic, creative choices and fierce originality will spark new and meaningful conversations among audience members and media alike.
Invisible Cabaret. Strip away stigma.