Open Clasp’s Mind The Gap project addressed women’s attitudes to mental well-being, mental ill-health and the issues that surround it. Open Clasp spent 18 months running courses of intensive drama workshops with 127 women from 10 community groups. Each group spent time building a character, and ended by looking at where they would like their character to be in 5 years time, and what obstacles lay in her path that could prevent her from living a positive and healthy life. The characters, life stories and issues developed in these workshops went on to become the script for Tonic. Set during the World Cup Tonic tells the story of four women trying, unsuccessfully, to get away from the football! Zoe heads off to a caravan estate for a break with her friend Lorraine and colleagues Suzy and Nina. But her little sister, Josie, turns up, having left her violent partner, and bringing a suitcase full of money and chaos in her wake. Like all Open Clasp productions Tonic is a comedy vehicle for serious issues. Zoe and Josie are survivors of childhood domestic and sexual abuse, Suzy suffers from OCD, Nina is lurching unprepared through the menopause, and Lorraine is banned from her own home whenever her girlfriend's children have their friends around. This is the backdrop to the whole story, and we see how the characters deal with these issues as well as everything else life throws at them. Scripted by Catrina McHugh and directed by Fiona MacPherson, Tonic toured a wide range of community and professional venues in the North East during February and March 2007.
|Publication status||Published - Feb 2007|