Written by Becky Mary (@beckyymary) talking how theatre brings topics such as Mental health, LGBTQ+ and Cancer to a relatable level to help bring awareness.
When we think of magic medicine we instantly think of Disney movies with fairy godmothers or magic mushrooms in Alice in Wonderland. We don’t ever think about theatre coming under the magic medicine idea, do we?
Story lines in theatre most of time cover things such as romance like Mamma Mia, a journey to becoming a star like in Funny Girl or trying to protect others from evil. (you can guess your own musical there *cough* Matilda). But recently, theatre that has been doing well is theatre with a message behind it and based on real life problems facing us every day. So what theatre currently does this?
Firstly, I have to mention Kinky Boots, currently going into its 3rd year at the Adelphi. Kinky Boots has helped many in the LGBTQ+ community on a personal level for some and even parents who have children who identify as LGBTQ+. The story doesn’t just show the journey of Lola (currently played by Matt Henry) who tells us about how he knew he was different than others from a young age and how he finally had to accept himself. It also shows us how acceptance can change the world around us, how we can love whoever we want and be whoever we want and not have to answer to anyone. This show I think really helps the younger LGBTQ+ community to understand that what they could be feeling is not wrong and there are other people like you out there and it is okay, personally as a gay woman myself Kinky Boots has been a very influential and inspirational to me and my journey to being openly gay and helped me understand myself more which older generations did not have.
Another show that hits a topic that has effected 1 in 3 people in the UK is The Girls Musical currently playing in The Phoenix theatre. This musical was based on a true story of the Calendar girls who did an unconventional WI calendar to raise money for a fellow member’s husband who died from cancer. Ultimately leading to the creation of ‘Bloodwise’, a charity supporting those with blood cancer. The show takes you through the motions that cancer brings with it along with the togetherness it brings. Many people who go to the show can relate to the story, which ultimately can give the feeling that you are not alone, that someone else understands the true strength you need to face such an awful disease.
More about Bloodwise : https://bloodwise.org.uk/
Overall all it is much more common to see shows starting to use topics that are facing people’s everyday lives and making it okay to talk about. Theatre I think uses these topics to ultimately give understanding, support but also to provide comfort. This type of theatre is hugely popular and attracts more people because of its honest nature and you leave feeling like a weight has been lifted off (personally I know It has when I saw The Girls while my grandad was dying of cancer) Theatre is truly a medicine for not just mending out hearts but also society’s look on things.
The Girls Information and Tickets – http://thegirlsmusical.com/
Kinky Boots Information and Tickets – http://www.kinkybootsthemusical.co.uk/