Coming Up for Air
Wed 10, Thurs 11, Fri 12 and Sat 13 December
Tickets on sale now ‘ £12, £10 concs
Information and Box Office 020 7613 7498
Online Booking http://www.viewlondon.co.uk/clubs/rich-mix-tickets-venue-16942.html
Written by Don Kinch
Directed by Olusola Oyeleye
Music by Soweto Kinch
Coming Up For Air tells the story of a young black man, Denzil Nurse (played by James Hamilton), who shoots dead three community leaders.
Denzil claims that injustice has caused his murderous mind but is he mad or just bad?
Jules Wright, the Oxbridge educated black psychiatrist (Adanna Oji), must assess Denzil’s mental and moral health. A clash of the classes ensues, and misunderstanding and misinterpretations rule as Jules tries to explore the inner workings of Denzil’s mind. Denzil believes in the survival of the fittest, the law of the jungle; labelled as mad, he sees himself no longer responsible for his actions and therefore free to do whatever he chooses.
Set up in a prison, Coming up for air is a riveting, topical and insightful play which examines the high rate of mental health diagnosis amongst black men. Is there a conspiracy theory? Survival of the fittest is the only way out in the law of the jungle.
The Guardian described it as “an explosive example of theatre’s social role.”
The inspiration for Coming Up For Air came from a true story told to the playwright, Don Kinch, by a man who, after an angry exchange with his sister, was arrested, taken to a mental hospital and held for three weeks under section 22 of the Mental Health Act. He was physically and verbally abused, drugged and later diagnosed as schizophrenic. The 0D playwright’s research revealed disproportionate numbers of black people in institutions who were diagnosed with schizophrenia, the most severe form of mental illness.