Melancholy and Raving is a free mental health inspired variety night in London, organised and hosted by community comic and former service user Kym Winstanley.
The catalyst for this was the overwhelmingly positive response to a World Mental Health Day event conceived by Kym in October 2014 with the support of some members of a local women’s group she used to attend and someone from Alabama 3.
The purpose of the gig is for people with personal experience from either inside or outside the mental health system to connect through performance, while also offering an opportunity for more established acts with lived experience to showcase their material. The open mic section of the evening is there for anyone who would like to take part.
Prior to the pandemic we had been meeting 8pm – 10pm on the last Monday of the month in the upstairs dysfunction room of a local pub, but of course this was unable to continue and we have since lost that venue.
Thanks to the National Survivor User Network Covid Fund we were able to meet online. On Monday 6th of September 2021 we had our first in person gig since February 2020. We are hoping to have a World Mental Health Day gig in October. The night will be quarterly in 2022 and monthly events may resume in 2023.
The focus of the evening is solely on nurturing creative responses to individual experience. We are completely independent and rely entirely on donations to cover occasional costs.