Health

Play raises curtain on mental health with Stephen Fry and Frank Turner talks

Gin for Breakfast’s four-week run will be followed with leading stars speaking about depression and male suicide

Stephen Fry and Frank Turner are among the stars who will be turning their attention to male mental health alongside a new play.

Gin for Breakfast, Jess Moore’s debut play, has a star-studded supporting cast to call on with Fry, Turner, Mat Horne, Hugo Rifkind and Oliver Kamm all conducting after-show talks throughout the production’s four-week run.

The talks will all centre around mental health and are presented with support from CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) – a charity who work to prevent male suicide by providing frontline services for men, promotion cultural change and campaigning for better understanding of the issue.

Tristran Beint and Jessica Guise rehearse ahead of opening night (Credit: Ben Morse)

The unique approach fits in with the ethos of Whatever Guise Productions, the company behind the show, which was set up in 2006 by star Jessica Guise to produce work that confronts psychological issues.

The play – which will be at the prestigious fringe venue Tristran Bates Theatre between September 28 and October 21 – is also the directorial debut for The Musketeer and The Hobbit actor Ryan Gage.

The play is co-lead Jessica Guise's first for her new production company, Whatever Guise (Credit: Ben Morse)

The Whatever Guise founder said: “Our inaugural production, grapples with the friendships, fears and mental health struggles of a pair of lost millennials.

Mental health is one of the most pressing issues in British society; suicide is the biggest killer of men under 40, and suicide rates for women are at their highest since 2011.

“This isn’t a battle we’re currently winning, and it’s one that many people face alone.  Gin for Breakfast tackles depression and suicide head on, so we are thrilled to be working with CALM on our aftershow talks.”

The plot follows childhood friends, Jen (Guise) and Robbie (Tristan Beint), who are all grown-up and galaxies away from where they imagined they would be. With their world views set on a collision course, and their dreams imploding, Gin for Breakfast explores whether or not they can save themselves, and each other.

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Main photo courtesy of PA with thanks

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