Douglas has been a professional food writer since 1986. He is also an award-winning actor and director in Community Theatre and has been for many years. His blog may be found at: www.urbaneguerilla.wordpress.com
What does it take to pull yourself back from the brink?
Depression and suicide are much in our collective minds at the moment with the sad deaths of Robin Williams, Tony Smart and Charmaine Dragun fresh in our minds.
Many people with depression harbour thoughts of suicide or self-harm. The ideation of suicide can be very strong, and the attraction of death can be always present.
Alan (A J Lowe) trying to get back on track (Photograph courtesy of B Vreedenburgh)
How is it conceivable to pull back from the brink of self-harm, what reserves does it call on and is it even possible? This and other questions are explored by local playwright Bree Vreedenburgh in her latest production, rock musical Merry Go Round.
The show, also directed by Bree, premiers at the Latvian Centre Theatre in Belmont this October.
Alan (Ang (Rachael Maher) in Merry Go Round (Photograph courtesy of B Vreedenburgh)
It is the story of Alan, a recent failed suicide and the group therapy circle he is sent to aid in his recovery.
Vreeenburgh says, "Merry Go Round is about beating depression, asking for help, rising above adversity, and showing that people who have mental illnesses are pretty much the same as the rest of us. My inspiration to write the show came from my own experiences living with depression, as well as learning about how other people deal with discussing it."
The idea for the musical came when she "noticed a poster on the door of the local library that asked men especially to seek help for depression".
Alan (A J The Devil (Kathleen Uhlmann) in Merry Go Round (Photograph courtesy of B Vreedenburgh)
Vreedenburgh set about trying to find a way to make the message appeal to 25 to 40-year-old males. "It hit me that Aussie pub rock would work," she said. "So I went about finding Aussie tracks that would fit into the story of the show and Merry Go Round was born.
Merry Go Round runs from October the 10th to the 25th. Tickets are $20 ($16 concession) bookings may be made by ringing 0421 084 226 or on the TryBooking website.
Opening night, October 10th, is World Mental Health Day and also the closing event for WA Mental Health Week.
Part proceeds from the show go the WA Men's Shed Association and Enterprise 33, an organisation that focuses on men's suicide prevention and delivers post-suicide assistance for families.
The Latvian Centre Theatre is at 60 Cleaver Terrace, Belmont.