A ONE-WOMAN show that challenges the way women are represented and treated within our culture is coming to Pembrokeshire later this month.
Bethan Dear is bringing her How to be Well in a World That is Sick? show to Milford Haven’s Torch Theatre in June.
The show is a 70-minute piece which examines how our society’s attitudes towards trauma and mental health may be hurting us all.
Bethan draws on her personal experiences of navigating the long-term impacts of trauma.
She and Jackdaw Theatre are collaborating with New Pathways on the story which looks at falling into darkness, fighting demons inside and out, getting back up again and re-finding the light.
Bethan will take the audience on a captivating journey with film projection, movement, clown and spoken word to share her experiences, asking questions such as: How do we heal from the impacts of violence? Where do we take the aftermath? How do we navigate a world that simultaneously engenders violence and silences its victims? In an image obsessed, capitalist, consumer machine, how do we stay well?
Bethan said: “I started exploring these themes because I feel strongly about the way women and their bodies are represented in our culture. I feel passionate and angry about how we are portrayed and how this is linked to the consistent level of violence and abuse many women suffer and endure.
“I feel we have a long way to go in understanding the real impact this violence has in terms of PTSD, trauma and long-term mental health struggles.
“While creating this work, I keep asking myself who am I making this for? Is it for anyone who ahs experienced domestic and sexual violence? Is it specifically for women who have experienced gender-based violence? Is it for anyone who knows what it is to suffer and struggled with mental health difficulties? Is it for me in celebration and recognition of what I have overcome? Maybe it’s for all of these things and all of these people.
“And for me it’s all these things, and I feel strongly that these voices are underrepresented in our culture. It still feels taboo to talk about mental health, domestic and sexual violence and I feel strongly that this collective voice is still massively underrepresented in our culture.
“I want this show to give a voice to them and also remind the world that this is still happening, it hasn’t gone away. Domestic abuse and sexual violence increased during covid and we are not talking about that.”
Bethan is collaborating in this show with New Pathways, one of Wales’ biggest agencies providing free support for young people and adults who have been affected by sexual violence or abuse.
The show includes full-body nudity and references to sexual and domestic violence, depression, flashbacks, feeling suicidal, PTSD, trauma and other mental health struggles.
The show will be at Torch Theatre on Thursday, June 22 at 7.30pm and following the show, there will be a talk supported by New Pathways. Tickets cost £14 for adults and £10 for concessions and are available at www.torchtheatre.co.uk or by calling 01646 695267.