Award-winning writer and performer Skye Loneragan brings her fragmented portrayal of motherhood, sisterhood and experience of loved ones debilitating mental illness to Dumfries and Galloway at The Stove, Dumfries and The Catstrand, New Galloway in June.
Not all stories wrap themselves around a beginning, a middle and an end. New motherhood doesn’t afford the time for that kind of structure. Though This Be Madness is an inventive and darkly humorous story of many sisters that delves into the combined challenges of new parenting alongside loved ones wrestling psychosis and depression.
In this fractured fiction told through poetry and performance, we are introduced to a recovering mum bouncing on a Pilates ball in The Land of the Lounge Room, trying desperately to soothe her baby so she can finish her sentence and tell us this tale. Unable to reach her sister Ophelia, who wrestles with a cataract on what Shakespeare calls the ‘mind’s eye’, she attempts to ‘stay on the ball’. Wondering what delusions we might all share, she questions the silent war many of us are waging – with little ones, with loss or with prams that don’t fold easily.
Originally set to tour in 2020, and following its online adaptation as part of the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival’s online programme in 2021, the 2022 live production will be shared as an evening performance, as well as an intimate and responsive performance open to parents and carers with babes in arms, designed to engage those who face barriers to attending live performances due to childcare or caring responsibilities.
The show follows a non-conventional slow touring concept, designed by Skye to meet her every day needs as a writer / performer and mature-age Mum who needs to prioritise and spend time at home. It travels to Aberdeen (February 16), Dunoon (March 18), Greenock (March 19), Inverness (April 21), Edinburgh (May 21-22), Hawick (June 23), Galloway (June 25), Dumfries (June 26), and ends in Mull (July 14).
Skye Loneragan says: “Though This Be Madness came about because I spent way too long on a bounce ball with a beautiful screaming baby and couldn’t tell the tale I had begun to write, or the one I was experiencing – postnatal and sleep deprived… and trying to piece together what was happening to my sisters, my mother, and those around me. So many loved ones are dealing with debilitating mental illnesses and I felt there should be a space to share the fall-out from that.
“This story is born of real experiences, but I don’t seek to represent them as universal. How we see things, how we grasp what we’ve been through and how we communicate that to one another is wholly unique. With Though This Be Madness I hope to connect with people who will wonder along with me what madness we all play out day to day.”
Though This Be Madness is written & performed by Skye Loneragan. Music by Mairi Campbell & Dave Gray. Lyrics by Skye Loneragan. Directorial support by Kath Burlinson & Stewart Ennis. Choreographic support by Emma Jayne Park.
Though This Be Madness is supported by Creative Scotland & SMHAF.
Friday 24 June at 8pm
Saturday 25 June at 10.30am
The Catstrand, Galloway
Sunday 26 June at 7.30pm
The Stove, Dumfries