Ahead of her solo show ‘This Room’ at BAC, Laura Jane Dean talks about being open about mental illness, and why it’s vital for performers to be able to say “I’m not okay”.
Dear Theatre – a performer contemplates breaking up with the object of her affection and frustration.
Laura Jane Dean & Tim Clare on honesty, adrenaline, anxiety and theatre as self-medication.
Talking about panic.
“I’m in a big, cold, mostly empty, disused shop in Folkestone, alone, surrounded by lots of pieces of coloured card which were scribbled on yesterday, two wooden chairs, a list of things to write, and my medical file from the Centre for Anxiety Disorders and Trauma. A medical record, neater and more compact than I expected it to be, containing all the necessary information and data, for the sixteen weeks I spent undergoing cognitive behavioural therapy. I pick it up, and start reading it, out loud.” Laura will be at BAC with her show Head Hand Head on the 21st & 22nd of March.
A post-show discussion that might actually matter.
I’m in Edinburgh where each day for two weeks my solo show, Head Hand Head takes place in a small studio on the top floor of an old building. The room is tatty, fading pink walls, school-red carpet and a crumbling window frame. Each day before the show I spend about an hour in here, alone, waiting.
Laura Jane Dean reflects on the last six months.
One year in.
A thought is just a thought.
Performing and sex.
A voyeur to one’s own psyche.
Between an audience and the person lying next to me.
A room of mental health professionals waiting for me to speak.
From the bottom of a bag.