Written by Katie Hims
02 May 2019 to 04 May 2019
The Salberg, Salisbury Playhouse, Malthouse Lane, Salisbury, SP2 7RA
14 May 2019 to 18 May 2019
The Tobacco Factory, Raleigh Road, Bristol BS3 1TF
A powerful new play about an extraordinary true life story that changed the world.
One cold wet morning in 2008, 21 year old Jonny Benjamin went to Waterloo Bridge with the intention of taking his life. A stranger stepped out of the rush hour crowd and talked him out of it, in an act of kindness that was to change both their lives forever.
The Stranger on the Bridge is a poignant account of what led Jonny to the bridge that day and the astonishing events six years later when he decided to track down the Good Samaritan to say thanks. A heart-warming, inspirational and deeply moving production this is an account of what it is to struggle with mental illness but also how redemption can be found in the darkest and unlikeliest of moments.
The play aims to immerse audiences in the experience of what it is to hear a voice and see the world differently. Using the story of the critically acclaimed Channel 4 documentary The Stranger on the Bridge charts how a young man who grew up in North West London became a globally renowned figure and helped transform our understanding of mental illness. The play follows the #findmike campaign of Jonny's search for his Good Samaritan but also delves into childhood and visually and audibly represents the internal and external battles with his voice.
Written by renowned playwright Katie Hims, The Stranger on the Bridge is produced by the award winning Postcard Productions who specialise in producing content to inspire social change.
Check out these three clips about the show on Bristol TV -
"The Stranger on the Bridge triumphs in being a genuinely thrilling theatrical retelling of the story of Jonny Benjamin . . The subject of mental illness is explored with enormous sensitivity and not a little amount of humour in a fantastic narrative form crafted by writer Katie Hims . . heart-warming, inspirational and at times jaw-droppingly bold . . It is in fact the love of life that drives this production; from the people who want to help Jonny to those he meets along the way who forge him into becoming the person he is . . Making real life just a bit more real by retelling, taking some bits away and adding a few others has made the play a joy to watch. As Jonny says, 'just because something didn't happen, doesn't mean it's not true'."
Brian Mason, Stage Talk Magazine
"It's Jonny's story and he's played with endearing warmth, vulnerability and openness by Jack Brownridge-Kelly - astonishingly in his first professional role - who switches between narration, engaging the audience and acting out key scenes. In a clever piece of theatricality that brings the terrors of mental illness to life, he's joined on stage by his nemesis, Panda, the voice that has existed in Jonny's head since he was ten . . Lizzie Minnion's direction of such sensitive subject matter is immediate and beautifully thoughtful . . The Stranger on the Bridge is a courageous and inspiring tale of triumph over despair, poignant in the simplicity of Jonny's eventual meeting with his saviour, ultimately uplifting in its message that devastating mental illness can be survived and, if not necessarily conquered, then subsequently lived alongside."
Claire Hayes, British Theatre Guide
Stepping Out Theatre
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Bristol BS11 0FH
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