Fear, stigma, stress, panic, voices, trauma, anxiety, secrets, tiredness…Hope.

Seven people with mental health challenges sharing their powerful, personal stories and a special song.

Birdman is frightened. Sally needs people to listen. Jill’s trauma is in her backpack. Young Lizzie stopped eating. Dave’s sick with panic. Louise hears voices. And how did Michael end up in a locked psychiatric ward?

Their compelling true stories are honoured and the unyielding power of Hope celebrated in The Hope Song, a verbatim theatre project. The words spoken by the actors are the words spoken by seven people with mental health challenges who shared their insights and experiences with writer Janet Brown.

  • verbatim theatre
  • 0
  • 7 total
  • 4 female identifying, 3 male identifying
  • 16 to 18, 18+
  • teen, young adult, adult
  • Australian Script Centre


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Male | Unspecified | under 3 minutes
Starts on page 13

EXTRACT: I have lived in some pretty rough places. Ten years in boarding houses, and a bit of couch surfing - Newport and South Melbourne. See - in boarding houses there were some really violent criminals and many a time there my life was really at risk. Stabbings nearly always happened in the kitchen. It was either live in the boarding house or what, sleep rough? Oh, I wouldn’t have coped with sleeping rough. I’m told it’s my psychosis, but I’m sure that a human intruder gets up in the ceiling space in my house. You get tense about it.

Adult themes


Female | Unspecified | under 3 minutes
Starts on page 21

EXTRACT: Oohh, I love that…(funny posh voice) What Do I think ‘society’ should do! (strong, a bit angry) Every second white, middle class woman is suffering from anxiety these days and it’s nice, it’s acceptable – we can deal with it. But give you something like bipolar disorder, and we can pretty much accept that if someone’s high, but if they’re irritable, and it changes…we don’t like that. We don’t like people with border line personality disorder that make everything about themselves. And I tell you what, I feel for anyone with schizophrenia, I feel for them, because, they’re pretty

Adult themes



The Hope Song - 'wonderful concept, excellent theatre'

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