47 years ago this month…..

47 years ago this month, I saw a play that changed my life.

It was ‘Death of A Salesman’ and it showed a man falling apart under the weight of his life.

I had a Dad who had been falling apart since I was 9.

He worked in a bank in the City of London.

One day he broke down in tears in front of a customer. No one said anything. His colleagues carried on as though nothing had happened.

He saw a psychiatrist the next day and that was the beginning of the end of his career.

Our neighbours avoided us. People crossed the street when they saw us coming.

When I saw Death of A Salesman, it showed me that we weren’t alone.

Other families went through the same thing.

I came out of the theatre and I felt different. I felt powerful. I wanted to change the world!

I wanted to challenge the people who avoided us, the people who had ignored my Dad.

I wanted to empower my Dad, so he could stand up for himself.

I made a decision on that day.

I would find a way to use the power of theatre to give people like my Dad a voice, and improve the world of work for everyone. That decision led me to discover forum theatre.

When the bank lost my Dad, they lost a valuable person who had worked for them for 36 years.

Before him, his Dad had given 40 years of his life to the same bank.

This is why I do what I do.

I use the power of forum theatre to make the workplace a better place, where people see the impact of their behaviour and the business does not have to lose good people.

Leaders, look after your people. Find ways to educate your people about mental health. Support their wellbeing because a business that cares and shows compassion, is a healthy, sustainable business.

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