Chris Woods and Joel Conlon, founders of ‘immediate effect theatre’ company, have taken inspiration from their own experiences to create a play titled ‘Man up, Man down’.
Theatre presents an opportunity to challenge opinions and tackle typically hushed topics such as mental health.
The pair have chosen to challenge the catchphrase ‘man up’ and the idea of “toxic masculinity” this instills upon men of all ages.
The play is “a dark comedy theatre piece” that focuses on mental health and “how having a full time job can affect your mental health” because of the pressure to succeed in a professional environment.
The play explores the power of friendship in helping each other through hard times, whilst using comedy that “people can relate to”.
‘Man up, man down’ is a 20 minute performance centered around two male leads, the pair play “two teachers, who are old friends. One of them, Andy, has depression”. The outline of the play is the bond and the connecting thing being their friendship and how their friendship brings them through this journey that are both experiencing.
[button link=”” icon=”cloud”]Chris and Joel talk Man up, Man down[/button]
The two use their platform to “escape the stereotype of people not wanting to talk about it, but we are going to talk about it”. They have approached the topic of mental health from a unique perspective, using comedy and dark humour to “have a laugh and make a story, whilst using something that has connected us as friends.”
It is this approach to the topic that the friends hope will enable them to reach “as many people as possible” by not shying away from talking about mental health.
“The performance is targeted towards anyone and everyone, but mostly young adults”, they said. The pair chose under construction scratch night as an opportunity to reach their target audience.