Donation to Young Minds

Apologies for the lack of updates since our last performance – term time got into full swing and we had to wait on a couple of things before making our announcements.

Firstly we would like to thank everyone who came to see the extra performance on Saturday 10th September: the audience was much bigger than we were expecting and everyone felt very engaged with the work we were presenting. Thankyou very much to everyone who helped us at the Abbey Theatre – especially Tina, Paul and Susie who I know in person did a lot of work to help us out – we felt very welcome and supported over there.

Secondly we are delighted to announce that we will be donating £2,535.75 to Young Minds. Thankyou very much to everyone who has donated or bought a ticket to one of the performances; it is thanks to your generosity that we have reached this fantastic amount. You will have helped other young people suffering with a mental illness as well as helping their families and friends understand how to help them best. If you would like more information on the work that Young Minds are doing you can take a look at their website, or this post on our blog.

Theatre of Minds is not finished. We will continue to update the blog when we can, and it is our aim that at some point in the future we’ll come back with a whole new project and production. For now, if you would like to look at the work we have been doing, you can check out the Our Work tab on the blog and follow us on twitter for regular updates.

Thankyou for all of your support – the project was bigger and better than we ever could have imagined and we are all so proud of what we have achieved.

Until next time.



Here we go again!

We are no less than a week away from our performance of Base Layer at the Abbey Theatre. Being asked to perform again is such a fantastic opportunity to share our work with a wider audience, so we really hope to see you there.

Thank you very much to Susie Major – the press officer at the Abbey Theatre – for writing and organising our latest article in the Herts Advertiser. We are very grateful for all the support that the theatre has been giving us in organising the extra performance – we couldn’t have done this alone! Have a read of the article below, and make sure you book tickets to see our young people’s story of mental illness here.

Herts Ad 3

Young Minds Parent’s Helpline

All of the funds raised from our production of Base Layer will be donated to the charity Young Minds after the final performance on Saturday 10th September. Young Minds are the UK’s leading youth mental health charity and work with young people and their families when they are struggling with a mental illness.

Young Minds

Young Minds run a confidential parents helpline used by over 10,000 people in 2013 to help direct parents to the right support for their families. Parents, carers, grandparents and professionals like teachers and social workers have used the helpline to try and help a young person under the age of 25. It can be very difficult to make the first step of making this call, but the Young Minds advisors are trained to help you explore your worries and understand what your child is going through. They might then pass you on to a mental health specialist for further consultation.

All you have to do is call 0808 802 5544 (free from a mobile or landline) between 9:30am and 4pm on Monday-Friday and there will be someone there to help.

There is also an online contact form to use if it is easier to write down your concerns rather than saying them outloud. Anyone can contact the charity when they are in need – they have heard it all before and no problem is too small.

The aim of the project is for Young Minds to be able to help everyone who needs them but they can only do with with donations from outside sources in order to further their work. Through our work on Base Layer we have already raised over £2000 to in donations and ticket sales. If you would like to help support the charity, our crowdfunding page is still open for donations, or you can buy a ticket to come and see the performance at the Abbey Theatre on Saturday 10th September, the profits from which will also be donated to the charity. Please help us support the work of this fantastic group. Mental illness is everywhere and everyone is affected!

What next?

Base Layer received a fantastic response when we performed in July. So many people commented on how affected they were by the material that we presented, and best of all more and more people are talking about the topics we discussed in the piece.

Therefore, we are delighted that we have been invited to perform Base Layer again at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans. The performance will be at 7:30pm on Saturday 10th September in the studio, allowing us to spread our message to an even wider audience. Tickets are available on the Abbey Theatre website by clicking the link here.

If you weren’t able to join us in July or you would like to see Base Layer again, we hope you will take this opportunity to help us support Young Minds – the UKs leading youth mental health charity. We are delighted that we have the chance to bring Base Layer back in the autumn, and would like to thank the Abbey Theatre for giving us the opportunity to do so. We hope to see you there.

Rehearsal Video Diary 2 (If you would like to see more visual material from the project, go to the Our Work tab above)

Theatre of Minds presents: Base Layer

If you missed out on seeing our performances in July, look no further! We recorded the performance on Saturday 16th July, and that is available for viewing here:

One in three children in every classroom suffers from a diagnosable mental health condition; you never know who might be affected. Theatre of Minds is a project, set up by young people between 15 and 19, to give a voice to those children and those around them.

This is a recording of our show, Base Layer, performed in July 2016 to raise money for mental health charity Young Minds. Within the performance we used spoken word, music and physical theatre to try to let anyone affected to know that they are not alone.

Thankyou to everyone who came to any of the performances of Base layer – you made the event very special for us all. If you weren’t able to make it on the night, we hope that this recording will allow you to get a flavour of what those in the live audiences experienced.

All funds raised through this project (in ticket sales and other donations) will be donated to Young Minds – the UKs leading youth mental health charity. If you would like to contribute our crowdfunding page is still open and any donations, however small, will be gratefully received:


Young Minds
Leading charity dedicated to improving the mental health of children and young people.

Children and young people up to 19 can contact childline to talk about anything, big or small.

Youth Talk
Counselling services avaliable to young people between 13 and 25 who live, work or attend school in the district of St Albans.

Free online counselling for young people, qualified counsellors avaliable till 10pm.

Thank you to:

Ms Shepherd, Mrs Hawkins, Miss Hosegood and all the staff at Beaumont School, Emily, Clare, Rhian and Emma at the Trestle Arts Base, Tina Swain at the Abbey Theatre, Andy Gray for technical support, Rachael Peacock at Sandringham School, Anthony Rowlands for help with fundraising, Matt and Jade at Young Minds, Syriol Jones for help with advertising, Jane Johnson at the OLLIE foundation, Debbie White at the Herts Advertiser, Kat Cormack, Kate Newton and Julie Allen from the St Albans City and District Council, Mary Crabtree, the front of house team, Rebecca and Katie for marketing material

Our show was a non-professional, all-profits-to-charity event in which we drew inspiration from a wide range of sources; plays, music, books etc. All materials used belong to the authors.
Materials used: Monkey Bars by Chris Goode, Albertine in Five Times by Michel Tremblay, Love and Information by Caryl Churchill, After the End by Dennis Kelly, Cutters Don’t Cry by Christine Dzidrums, Macbeth by William Shakespeare, 4.48 Psychosis by Sarah Kane, What it feels like to have Anxiety by Meghan Rinks, Performance Anxiety by Mind, Every Brilliant Thing and Lungs by Duncan Macmillan, Mess by Caroline Horton, Charlie and Lola Theme by John Gresswell, Engine Fire by Silent Partner, Lost Boy by Ruth B, God Moving Over the Face of the World by Vitamin String Quartet, We Bought a Zoo by Jonsi, La Campanellla by Franz Liszt, Intertwined by Dodie Clark, Say Something by A Great Big World, Holes by Layla, Sun by Jonsi, Teardrop by Massive Attack

Thankyou to Katie Walton for filming and editing the video, and we hope you enjoyed the performance.
If you would like to donate, visit our crowdfunding page and help us support Young Minds.

Base Layer 2.0

For those of you who didn’t manage to see a live performance of Base Layer last week, we have a couple of updates and an exciting piece of news:

1. We are currently working very hard to make a video of the performance available for online viewing. There have been a couple of technical hiccups in the last couple of days (hence the delay in putting this up) but things are well on their way, and we hope to have that available in the near future. Thankyou for your patience.

2. There is an album of all of the photos from the production on our facebook page, so head over there to take a look at what we created. You can also take a look at all of our visual media in the OUR WORK tab of the blog.

And Exciting News:

Due to the success of our recent performances, the Abbey Theatre in St Albans have invited us to perform Base Layer once again in order to help us reach a wider audience with our work. This performance will be on SATURDAY 10TH SEPTEMBER and tickets will be available online soon (make sure you check back here to book yours first!). Thankyou so much to the Abbey Theatre for this fantastic opportunity to spread awareness across our community. Put the date in your diary and we hope to see you there!

Performance Shots

Thankyou to our very own Katie Walton for taking on the role of photographer for the production (as well as assistant director). We now have some gorgeous pictures to remember the project by. This is Base Layer!

Trestle 8

Full Cast

Trestle 7

Lucy, Tamsin and Bethan


Mae and Tom


Mae and Gina



Trestle 6

Emily, Gina and Toby



Trestle 1

Lucy and Tamsin


Tom, Lucy, Bethan and Tamsin


Tamsin, Tom, Bethan and Lucy

Trestle 5


Trestle 4







Lucy, Tom, Tamsin and Emily








Emily, Lucy, Tom and Tamsin




Bethan, Mae, Lucy, Tamsin and Tom


Bethan and Tamsin


Mae, Tom, Bethan, Lucy and Tamsin






Toby, Tom, Gina and Emily


Emily, Toby, Gina



Trestle 2



Tamsin and Lucy


Toby and Mae


Mae and Tamsin


Gina, Emily and Lucy


Gina, Emily and Lucy


Lucy, Emily and Mae




Lucy and Tamsin


Mae and Gina




Cast and crew 1

Cast and Crew

We couldn’t have pulled off such a performance without a lot of help, so Thank you to all of these young people for working so hard to create Base Layer:

Tom Holmes
Bethan Hughes
Gina Hunt
Mae Lankshear
Tamsin Sandford-Smith
Emily Webster
Toby Weidmann
Lucy Wilson

Frankie Dore
Katie Walton
Beth Wilson

Hannah Crisp
Alex Powdrell
Ellie Quinton
Joe Vernon
Jack Wills

Front of House
Elizabeth Barber
Louisa Briguglio
Cerys Falvey

Thursday 21st July

Show Day Number 2!!

Once again, we spent the morning organising ourselves and sorting out the final details for performance. Then, we met the cast and crew at Beaumont at 12:50 (the start of lunchtime there) – it was going to be a very busy day! Having already performed once we had spent the last couple of days altering the blocking for the new space – we changed the audience configuration from end on at Trestle to traverse (on two sides) so that as many people could see the performance as possible.

Over lunchtime, we set up the audience seating and positioned the props; changed into costume and switched on the lights. We had been invited to perform the piece for a third time, during the afternoon at school. It was treated as an open dress rehearsal, with an audience of year 12 and year 10 drama students as well as some staff who couldn’t make it to the evening performance, but myself and the assistant directors were still making notes to give to the actors afterwards. It was fantastic to be able to show the piece to some more people – especially those at the age group which the piece is about.

Due to the new audience configuration, we also had to switch around the cast positions. When not on stage, the actors would now be sitting among the audience so it was very helpful to have a rehearsal with genuine audience members in those seats next to them. The performance went very well and we were so grateful to Beaumont for letting us add an extra one in – the project is about spreading awareness so the more people who see the piece the better!

After the first show we had to get many, many fans into the room to try and cool it down for the next audience. We went outside and went through some final notes on the bench dedicated to Mrs Rowlands just outside our drama studio. I didn’t have very much to say, so soon afterwards we reset the stage for the evening performance and took some food outside for a break. A two show day is a lot of work, but we managed to have a good hour to relax with each other!

At about 5:45pm we went over to the hall to warm up. Most things were focused on concentration and ensemble work to bring the company together for the final time. We had our last game of concentration, adding in as many levels to the game as we could for the last time.

Then it was time to set up Front of House and for the audience to start arriving. Just like last time, I got very nervous at this point but I had some fantastic people on the team with me to stop me getting stressed about anything at all! Thankyou very much to Louisa Brigulio, Elizabeth Barber and Cerys Falvey (as well as my mum and Miss Shepherd) for helping me out!

Finally we reached 7:30pm and it was showtime for the last time. I was so proud watching the cast perform their best yet – they’ve all worked so hard and gave this final audience a stunning performance. Thank you so much to everyone who came to see the performance on Thursday evening – you were a fantastic audience and gave the actors so much to play off. It was such a special performance, and I am so grateful to everyone who helped to create that!

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Theatre of Minds has been an amazing year of experiences for us both. We haven’t yet calculated how much money we have raised as a donation to Young Minds, but we have already been blown away by the responses we have had to the piece. This has been a very therapeutic process for me, and I’ve never been more proud to be part of a production. Thankyou all!

Rehearsal Video Diary 2

Preparing for the show:

With our first performance just around the corner Frankie, one of our directors, has been reflecting on the process and the impact that we hope this production will have.

There are just a few tickets left for the first show on Saturday at the Trestle Arts Base, so book yours now so that you don’t miss out! Tickets available under the Base Layer tab of the blog.

Article in the Herts Ad

Theatre of Minds has appeared in the local newspaper (the Herts Advertiser) for the second time, on page 4 of the 14th July edition. We would like to thank Sarah Mackay for organising the article for us and conversing with chief reporter, Debbie White whilst we were off rehearsing.

Herts Ad 2

If you would like to buy a ticket to see our production on Saturday, you can do so here. We hope you will come along to support us in raising funds for Young Minds.