To support projects which encourage local people to be active, learn and play together.
Wishbone presents "Mountain High Valley Low" - ten free performances of an original theatre show created especially for Finsbury Leisure Centre. We'll tell the story of Josie, a woman who’s looking for love but has a secret to hide. Josie is affected by bipolar disorder. Her answer is to take up long-distance cycling and dating. Things may not go totally to plan… With an original soundtrack and visual projections mixed live, you can ride along with Josie from Islington into the countryside through the shifting seasons and the emotional landscape of her mind. To develop the show, Wishbone will put together professional artists and a group of Islington residents who live successfully with the serious challenge of bipolar. Together, we'll collaborate to create a true-to-life, immersive experience for the audience. There'll also be opportunities for Islington residents to benefit from free led cycle rides and free creative workshops, co-designed with our local wellbeing heroes.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
Josie's story is fictional, but the wellbeing challenges many of us face are all too real. According to Mind, 1 in 4 of us will be affected by a mental health issue at some point in our lives. Even though we've become more open about our experiences with anxiety or depression, we don't necessarily know how to manage them. On the other hand, people with serious mental illnesses can still be stigmatised and marginalised, even when they cope well with symptoms. In the 15 min pilot of our show at cycling cafes, we worked with service users from the Maudsley Hospital who shared their experiences of bipolar and their insights about managing wellbeing. We realised that they had a lot to teach us all about living fully and healthily. They have tips about exercise, avoiding triggers and getting support. Our complete package of theatre performances and well-being workshops will get everyone empathising, physically active, and practising new ways of self-care. Movement is medicine!
Steps to get it done:
Our project at Finsbury Leisure Centre has three stages: - development in collaboration with Islington residents affected by bipolar disorder, in collaboration with Islington Cycle Club and Manor Gardens Mental Health Services; - performances in the cycle studio, ticketed but free to watch for the whole community; - and creative workshops and physical activity for wellbeing, co-created by local experts by experience in bipolar. Keeping the performances free means that no one will be excluded because of cost. So even if theatre isn't your cup of tea, you can take a punt on it! But we hope the project won't end there, at Finsbury. We plan to take the performances and workshops on to other Better leisure centres throughout London. So our artists and local wellbeing heroes in Islington will continue to benefit others, as the insights and advice for the whole community will continue to benefit a bigger and bigger community, as more and more people get entertained and involved.
About the space
Finsbury Leisure Centre in Bunhill Ward in Islington is a busy centre that welcomes a diverse community - local residents and workers mix over a wide range of sporting activities.
London Borough of Islington
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