This piece received a rehearsed reading at the Unicorn Theatre as part of Tamasha Theatre’s Small Lives, Global Ties festival of new writing back in 2011. But it is still in development after all these years of working on it.
This play also came runner up in the New Perspectives Theatres’ ‘Dream Up’ new writing Competition in 2012.
‘Black Men Don’t Go To Therapy’ (working title) looks into the political reality of the mental health industry and examines institutionalised racism as a psychiatric function, focussing particularly on schizophrenia within Black and Asian cultures. This extract follows the story of Ali who has committed a crime as a result of his mental health. The dialogue initially takes place between a care worker and his patient, set within the confines of a ‘therapy’ room and taking place alongside the 2011 riots. When Ali and his family are confronted with the realities of the care system, their own desire to hide the truth and involvement with the riots rise to the surface.
The play adopts comedy as the driving force to recognise societies own prejudices against mental health as well as the association certain Diaspora cultures face in the presence of authority. It is from this patriarchal supremacist power that the characters own fears are expressed. The script is uses the true story of the Birmingham Riot deaths and events within the mental health system, to create narrative that dramatically presents the political story.