NORMAL? EDUCATION WORKSHOPS

Normal? was a theatre production written by Ann Akin that centres on the theme of mental health told through a sibling relationship, which has nowbeen developed into a mental health awareness workshop.

Normal? Education is a mental health awareness workshop for young people aged 11-24.

This workshop consists of an interactive talk about mental health,  a short film called Normal? drama exercises and takeaway information leaflet for participating students. 'Campaigners are currently calling for mental health to be included in the National Curriculum and for support to be given to any young person who needs it' (mindfull.org). 

Launching it's pilot in May 2014 we worked with hundreds of young service and non service users of mixed learning ability, age, race and sexual orientation in London and Lincoln aged 11-24. We have already successfully provided the workshop for Lincoln College, Westminster Academy, Hillingdon Young Carers, Mind in Haringey, who are in support of the workshops, PACE an LGBT mental health charity, The Young Actor's Theatre,  The Who Cares Trust and 40 adults from ThinkArts Charity. We have also worked with staff at Hendon Job Centre who found the workshops extremely insightful and useful.

89% of the participants that we have worked with so far strongly agreed/agreed that they enjoyed participating in the workshop and felt that it helped them understand more about mental health and where to get help and support   

HARTS has developed the Normal? Education workshop, which is a mental health awareness drama workshop. This workshop aims to raise mental health awareness to young people aged between 11 – 24 using theatre, informal learning and discussion as tools. Performance exercises and role-play will be used as a way of understanding mental health challenges that may arise in the life of the individual, their families and their community.

“Normal?” was originally a play written by Ann Akin which debuted as part of Oval House Theatre's 33% London Festival in January 2012. It was also part of the mental health awareness Happy Soul Festival in June 2012. Since March 2012 “Normal?” has been supported by the mental health charity, Rethink. Ann worked alongside them for over a year as part of their national campaign, Sibling's Connect, an event for anyone who has a sibling with a mental health illness. A short version of the piece is performed followed by an open discussion and a Q&A.

For more information or to book a workshop for your school please email:

info@hartstheatrecompany.co.uk