Mental Health Foundation announces Fringe comedy gala

This article is from 2015

Mental Health Foundation announce Fringe comedy gala

Felicity Ward / Credit: Steve Ullathorne

Line-up includes Felicity Ward, Le Gateau Chocolat, Carl Donnelly, Bryony Kimmings & Tim Grayburn and an improv tribute to the late Robin Williams with Mike McShane and friends

The Mental Health Foundation is hosting its first Fringe comedy fundraiser at Pleasance Beyond on Sun 16 Aug. The Gala For Mental Health features Le Gateau Chocolat, Carl Donnelly, Bryony Kimmings & Tim Grayburn and will be hosted by Felicity Ward. There will also be a special one-off improv tribute to the late, great Robin Williams featuring Mike McShane and friends.

'Mental health is an especially prominent theme at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, and it is very encouraging to see more and more performers being so open about their own experiences,' explains Lee Knifton, head of the Mental Health Foundation Scotland.

The line-up is culled from across the festival with each of the acts performing exploring various aspects of mental health within their own shows. 'In their different ways, Mike McShane, Felicity Ward, Bryony Kimmings & Tim Grayburn, Carl Donnelly and Le Gateau Chocolat, among others, are all helping to reduce stigma,' adds Knifton, 'and we are grateful to these talented performers for giving their time to help the Mental Health Foundation in pursuing that same goal.'

Compere Felicity Ward's What If There Is No Toilet deals with issues of anxiety; Le Gateau Chocolat will be performing an extract from Black, tackling themes of depression; Bryony Kimmings & Tim Grayburn's theatre piece, Fake it 'til You Make It, is centred around clinical depression; Carl Donnelly talks about therapy, depression and body issues in his new show Jive Ass Honky, while Robin Williams' battle with mental health is well documented, and Mike McShane (who appears in Paul Merton’s Impro Chums will be leading the improvised tribute to the much missed comedian.

It all adds up to a great night of big laughs for a good cause. 'The Mental Health Foundation believes that everyone has the right to good mental health,' says Knifton. 'Since 1949 we have been working to end mental health inequalities and we are committed to ensuring that this becomes a reality. We achieve tremendous national and international reach through our campaigns and online presence. We support the arts as they can challenge, provoke, and generate emotion, and our events engage tens of thousands of Scots each year. The arts tell us about who we are and who we can be, individuals and communities – as well as being provocative, subversive, emotional, affirming, and fun.'

A Gala For Mental Health will take place at Pleasance Beyond, Sun 16 Aug, 10.15pm, £10.