Let the memory on the vine stay sweet …

“My Mum wrote this for us kids; she wanted us to know the truth one day. She wanted it written down in case she died before ever getting the chance to tell us the truth.

“What Remains’ raises the question of why it is so hard to talk about suicide and what can be done to support the people most affected by it’s aftermath.”

In October 2017 performer Mary Brooks’ and verd de gris art’s workshop facilitator Sharon Marsden bring this powerful and emotive performance workshop to Hebden Bridge Town Hall – as a response to the need for greater dialogue and understanding of mental health issues and in particular, the effects of suicide on close family members and loved ones.

This performance originates from a personal piece of writing from Mary’s mother to her father, a few years after his death. It was written to make sense of, and preserve Memory.

“When I was 12 my Dad died by suicide, and given the nature of his method, my Mum decided it was better not to tell us children what had happened. She kept the truth a secret because, not only did she want to protect us from our own imaginations, but also she did not want any of us to be seen as, or to feel like, victims. My Mum felt that suicide was an ultimate taboo in our society and she didn’t want any one to judge her husband.

“Central to the story is mental health. When my parents met, Dad was homeless and using heroin as his pain relief. Mum was a vulnerable 23-year-old working on the homeless circuit. They fell in love and, with the right set of circumstances and support ( social capital) he was able to find his place in the world as a functioning social worker/ drugs worker.

“The monologue is about the rise and fall of one man. Despite it’s tragic ending, there is seventeen years of happy family life, and in the scale of time could be viewed as a success story.” Mary Brooks

‘What Remains’ is a pilot project devised by Mary with support from verd de gris arts. Our aim is to reach out to local and regional support agencies to determine potential audience for the workshop, and how it could be adapted to assist advice and support work both here in Calderdale and the wider area.

Booking is strictly limited – for further information please call Sharon: 07598 387772

This project is funded by Big Lottery Fund and is part of the Creative Communities initiative developed in partnership with Square Chapel Arts Centre.

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