On Friday the 1 st of February, Finding Isla was performed in the Senior Hall, open to the staff and students, along with a successful raffle. All this was in aid of MQ. Written and directed by one of our very own students – Jane A – this play was created along with help from her very good friends. The play focused mainly on mental health and bullying, a huge topic in today’s discussions everywhere. The performance was in partnership with MQ (“transforming mental health through research”), an organisation based on the progress of mental health awareness and relief, which also received the entire £205 raised. In the play, a teenage girl finds herself in a whirlwind of depression, bullying, friendship conflicts and more with no way to survive it… something that can connect and relate to others as well. Like other patients worldwide, Isla has a spectrum disorder, which she struggles with in social media, and daily life. Isla, through the guidance and use of her friends and herself mostly, gets through the bullying and self-hate, portraying the message: ‘mental illness doesn’t change you as a person’. After an interview with the play’s creator, Jane, on her inspirations and motivations that had driven her to choose this topic, she expressed that the more awareness worldwide for this topic, the better. Jane also said on the question of “What was it like making your own play with your friends?”: “They’re amazing! I’m so happy my friends could act in it.”
Overall, I think the whole event was praise-worthy and well-organised. The portrayal on stage in terms of acting, the script, lighting and audio and the use of humour lightened a topic which may be easier to fully grasp put into a positive situation. The message they were trying to convey together with MQ was shown beautifully to the audience in a sensitive and successful way. In total, Jane and her friends made £205 in aid of MQ, which will hopefully carry the chain of mental health and disorder awareness in future days.