Rummage Theatre are currently writing their third play, Behind the Wallpaper, which examines the effects of postnatal depression and postpartum psychosis and questions if enough is being done to help sufferers of this temporary and dangerous mental illness. When the company first set about researching postnatal illness, they were shocked at how many people, men and women, who came forward to discuss their own experiences. It is clear that a higher than expected number of people has suffered with this illness, but even more shockingly, they suffer behind closed doors. The company are passionate about putting an end to the stigma of postnatal illnesses and want to encourage sufferers to open up about their experiences and help to improve the understanding of the condition, particularly in Dorset. The company are working very closely with a number of advocates and charities who are initiating a Postnatal Illness Awareness Month in the UK and hope to raise more awareness of this in the local community.
Behind the Wallpaper Synopsis
Often brushed off as the ‘baby blues’, postnatal depression causes many mothers to feel guilty and inadequate. For two in every thousand new mothers, postnatal depression develops into something far more frightening – postpartum psychosis. Within just a few days, people can experience hallucinations and feel disconnected from reality. Their manic behaviour becomes a serious threat to both mother and child.
‘Behind the Wallpaper’ is inspired by Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’, which explores one woman’s struggle with postnatal depression and the subsequent destructive effects it has on her life and relationships. Overlooked by her 'super mum’ sister Olivia, are the signs of Julie’s decline into postpartum psychosis being missed? And who is to blame?
As her mental health deteriorates, Julie becomes withdrawn, paranoid and deluded. Isolated and exhausted, what is it about the yellow wallpaper that irritates and distresses her?
Will the shadows in the wallpaper consume Julie or will their liberation set her free? Inspired by accounts of real women, Behind the Wallpaper is a gripping and poignant piece of theatre, which will leave you questioning if enough is being done to help sufferers of postpartum psychosis. Has our understanding and perception of mental health improved since Gilman’s warnings in her 1892 story, ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’? A newly written play by Rummage Theatre that continues to question your moral convictions and challenge social preconceptions.
Behind the Wallpaper debuts at The Bay Theatre, Weymouth College on Thursday 19th June at 7.30pm. Tickets are £8 (£6 concessions) and can be booked by calling 01305 208702 or you can book on line by going to http://thebaytheatre.ticketsource.co.uk/.
Rummage Theatre are also touring in various venues around Dorset:
Saturday 26th July, Charlton Down Village Hall, 8pm
Wednesday 30th July, Weymouth Old Town Hall, 7.30pm
Friday 22nd August, Dorchester Corn Exchange, 8pm
Saturday 23rd August, Worth Matravers Village Hall, 8pm
You can book tickets for these tour dates by calling the Marketing Manager, Rhea Soulsby on 07772114927. You can also contact the office on 01305 764710.
Press and Reviews
“Stunning, evocative... I would recommend unreservedly” The f word
4 STARS “Skilful acting... definitely worth your time” Broadway Baby
“Brilliantly executed, spellbound throughout. What a moving experience!” Rita Mathews, Audience Member
Captive Minds (2013)
“…engrossing; the creepy character of Arty Clarkey and the story was unsettling; all the characters had impact and the performance gave us food for thought.” Jane McKell, AsOne Theatre
“Impressive!” Broadway Baby
“Brilliantly written and well-acted, you really lived up to your reputation of challenging moral judgements and I found myself questioning whether good could come out of so much bad... Powerful stuff!” Felicity Ayles, Audience Member
Rummage Theatre was founded in 2011 at The Bay Theatre, where they have been working as the Company in Residence. As members of the LEAP (local emerging artist’s platform) project, they were invited to perform as part of the cultural provision for London 2012.
Rummage Theatre devise their own work, which is inspired by real life events, evoking emotions, asking questions and sparking debate. With the intention of challenging each audience member’s moral judgements, Rummage presents theatre which is thought-provoking and accessible for all. The company have so far written two plays and are currently in the process of researching and writing their third.
Rummage Theatre have a strong touring history, performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2012 and 2013 and touring a variety of local rural venues. Their performances have always been well received, with a 4 star review from Broadway Baby under their belt and plenty of praise from Fringe critics and audience members.
Cleansed (2012) told the story of a former inmate of a Magdalene Laundry Institution in Ireland. It looked at her fight for a long overdue apology from the nun who beat and tormented her and the Irish government who failed to acknowledge the wrongful imprisonment of hundreds of women.
Captive Minds (2013) explored the psyche of three very different women who have all come in to contact with a male serial killer. We questioned what affects this highly dangerous man had on each of their lives and why some women are so attracted to men who do such terrible and unforgivable things.
Rummage Theatre members have extensive experience in many of the performing arts fields. Hannah Soulsby-Phillips is a graduate from the Birmingham School of Acting. She completed a national tour with Quantum Theatre and now works as a drama and singing teacher. Rhea Soulsby completed a Foundation Degree in Performance Practice and a Diploma in Teaching and is currently working as a performing arts lecturer. Lauren Whitehead completed a degree in Dance and Culture, a PGCE in Dance Education and currently owns and works as the Principal of Razzamataz Theatre School Weymouth.