Shout Liverpool: Dates for new Irish mental health arts festival confirmed

Shout Liverpool: Dates for new Irish mental health arts festival confirmed

DATES have been announced for a new mental health festival which is expanding into Liverpool following is successful launch in London.

The first Shout Liverpool festival will take place on April 18 and 19 at the city’s contemporary arts centre, Bluecoat, the organisers have confirmed.

The Irish-founded arts festival, which promotes mental health and wellbeing, proved a roaring success in London where it has drawn the crowds over the past two years.

Shout London -The Ashford Place Mental Health Film & Arts Festival takes place in October each year, in line with World Mental Health Day, which falls on October 10.

In Liverpool the free festival will encompasses film, music, theatre, dance and poetry.

It will be curated by Festival Director Carey Fitzgerald.

Shout London Festival Director Carey Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald is CEO at Silver Mountain Productions, who, along with the Arts Council England, the Department of Foreign Affairs Ireland, Irish Community Care, i2i Media and Flannery Plant Hire, will act as sponsors for the event.

Eastenders Actor Michelle Collins will continue as Festival Patron for the event as will actor, dancer and writer Maria McAteer, accompanied by Alice Beadle on the violin.

Shout Liverpool will open with a scene from award-winning writer McAteer’s play The Guinness Girl, which is due to be made into a feature film.

The play follows the story of a young black girl growing up in Newcastle Upon Tyne in 1974 with an Irish mother.

At a time when racism was rife, putting on her Irish dance shoes and dancing was her only escape.

Maria McAteer is among the artists taking part in the Shout Liverpool festival

Shout Liverpool is also collaborating with mental health campaigner Jon Salmon and What’s Going On In Your Head? – an organisation determined to explore the secret inner workings of the mind through live performance and discussion.

Ashford Place CEO, Danny Maher, who has worked closely with Fitzgerald in developing Shout Liverpool is looking forward to the festival branching out this year.

“We are realising our long-term vision of building Shout London into one of the most diverse cultural annual events in the calendar and bringing it to audiences outside of London,” he said.

“The festival celebrates the artistic expression of people with experience of mental health issues, exploring the relationship between creativity and the mind, while promoting positive mental health and well-being.”

Harriet Thorpe and Festival patron Michelle Collins on the red carpet at Shout London -The Ashford Place Mental Health Film & Arts Festival in 2022

Ms Fitzgerald added: “I am delighted that we are beginning our Shout tour in Liverpool. Exploring the subject of mental health with expression through the arts has proved to be empowering for the performers and audience and it has been wonderful to see how everyone was so comfortable in discussing and embracing their lived experiences.”

The organisers are now calling for submissions for the event of original artistic content across film (features and shorts), theatre, dance, spoken word, music and other art forms.

Applications are welcome from Liverpool and across the UK and should be sent to [email protected] by Monday, March 18.

Shout Liverpool “especially welcomes submissions from people with lived experience of mental health issues” they confirm.