“I’m trapped in a strange play but I don’t know how to act…”

HYSTERICAL, a groundbreaking dark comedy at the Brighton Fringe explores the boundaries of mental health and sanity in the 21st century.

June’s just landed her dream job at a high-octane advertising agency. But when her first task is to rebrand water, she gets the feeling she might be in over her head.

Desperate to please, she puts aside her duties of caring for her brother to prepare a pitch that will blow her new boss away.

As the pressures mount in her new work place and the disconnection from her brother grows, June’s mental health is sent into a downward spiral, leaving her questioning her sanity.

After her catastrophic collapse, June returns to seek solace in her brother. Finding the courage to speak he tells her a tale to reconcile their relationship.

Grappling with the sanctity of sanity, this darkly comedic play blends bold new writing with physical theatre, clowning and puppetry.

“A psychosis circus full of laughs” – DISABILITY ARTS ONLINE

Drawn from her own personal experiences with mental health and institutionalisation HYSTERICAL writer Karis Halsall has created a piece that explores the question of whether it’s actually possible to be ‘well’ in our society, surrounded by never ending pressures and the need to achieve and please.

“Everybody has ‘mental health’, just like everybody has physical health,” said Karis. “It’s not a case of one person being ‘mad’ and another person being ‘sane’. Or one person being ‘sick’ and another being ‘well’. It’s more far more nuanced than that. Life pressures can cause anyone to struggle and feel off balance.”

“Unhinged, uncomfortable, unbridled… genius” – A YOUNGER THEATRE

HYSTERICAL is certainly a challenging piece, and doesn’t give the audience an easy ride. But they’ll find themselves laughing at the dark comedy of June’s situation – even if they think they shouldn’t be.

HYSTERICAL aims to break down taboos about mental health, as Karis explained. “We’d like people to see themselves in June, to see the story as a universal experience – to have their experiences mirrored on stage, and be able to laugh at them. Laughter can take the sting out of stigma. We want people to understand that mental health is something that affects us all, and to acknowledge that the ‘normal’ lives that we lead are frequently absurd, and pretty hysterical”

HYSTERICAL runs on Saturday May 14th & Sunday May 15th, 2016 @ 4pm

Venue: The Warren Main Stage, St Peter’s Church, York Place, Brighton BN1 4GU

Twitter: @hoax_theatre @luminary theatre #hysterical

Tickets: £11 (£9.50 concessions)
Buy online at


HOAX is an international company of theatre makers that produce provocative and unapologetic contemporary work that blends text, physical theatre and satire to give a voice to social and ecological issues.

LUMINARY THEATRE is an emergent, multi disciplinary theatre collective dedicated to the creation of innovative and intrepid new writing and performance.



You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply

2 + 3 =