Invisible Cabaret featured on Disability Arts Online

Huge thanks to Natasha Sutton Williams at Disability Arts Online for writing this lovely feature about our Cabaret! The piece not only explores the message of our shows, but also goes into detail about how we navigate our performers’ wellbeing (and our own!) as we make entertainment which often probes into very sensitive and personal issues.

Here’s a couple of tasty morsels for you, but we’d recommend reading the full article online here…

[They] both stress that mental health should not be glamorised or romanticised. This is the main challenge they face as cabaret-based mental health advocates. Discussing mental health in a performance environment is a formidable task, especially when they are utilising glitter, sequins and jazz hands.

Natasha sutton williams
Ferrero Rochelle sits in the centre with a ukulele, she is singing. The troupe sit in a semi-circle at her feet, dressed in silk dressing gowns, also singing.
Ferrero Rochelle & the troupe in the heartfelt finale of summer show ‘Please Stay’, using burlesque and variety to talk about suicide

We’ve developed a ‘tap out system’ which is always in play. It’s like an emotional Oyster card system. Whenever someone feels close to overwhelming feelings, anxiety, or any other flare up of a mental health symptom, we simply get up and take a break. No explanation or pleasantries required. After a few minutes, someone will go check on them, but only for the sake of welfare and kindness. We do not consider anyone ‘owes’ us anything emotionally or otherwise.  No one is obliged to share what they are going through. This can be a really helpful strategy when we’re talking about difficult or triggering subjects, which we do a fair amount.

Rosalind Peters, aka rosie verbose
Gee, thanks, Disability Arts Online – you made us feel just swell!

Read the feature, ‘Being Anti-Shame is Pretty Thrilling’, here!

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