13th September 2019

Preview: Burnout

The critically-acclaimed Burnout returns to Manchester next month as a full-length, two-act play
Preview: Burnout
Photo: Kit Patrick-Dafoe

Burnout debuted as a fringe-style piece at the Three Minute Theatre (Afflecks Arcade) to sell-out crowds and outstanding audience feedback. It went on to win a ‘Highly Commended’ Northern Soul Award in the ‘Theatre Production of the Year’ category. A year later, it returns to the city of its birth as a full-length, two-act play, at The King’s Arms.

Lovin Manchester referred to Burnout as “an unusual play … with a subject very close to Manchester’s heart.”

The play takes place over a few hours of one night, at a 24-hour gym. It revolves around the disappearance of a popular man called Raf and explores the impact he made on those in his life and “the little spiral of chaos” he left in his wake. For instance, Raf’s disappearance opens wounds between the flirtatious Megan and her loving girlfriend Becky, and it is a catalyst for a “very messy” love triangle with Elise, an obsessive gym member.

The playwright warns not to take Burnout‘s subject matter lightly, even though it sounds captivatingly dramatic. The play deals with issues such as suicidal thoughts and drug abuse. Its explicit aim is to normalise talking about mental health and to help fight the stigma, via theatre. However, there are many light moments of humour throughout, making the play educational, enjoyable and entertaining.

As well as discussing the important subject of mental health, it also features a lesbian couple amongst the characters. It certainly appears to be a progressive play.

Selina Helliwell, an up-and-coming young writer from Greater Manchester, is behind this ambitious new play. Helliwell wrote the play after working with esteemed playwright Jim Cartwright at The Cartwright Drama Studio in Manchester. Cartwright has long been an inspiration for Helliwell. Cartwright’s aim to make drama training more accessible for working-class actors was especially inspiring for her.

The cast of Burnout. Photo: Adam Gonet.

So, whether you want to be informed about important issues through theatre, enjoy and be entertained by an excellent new play, or support emerging young talent, this is an event you don’t want to miss.

Burnout runs at The King’s Arms in Salford on Friday the 18th and Saturday the 19th of October.

Jay Darcy

Jay Darcy

Theatre Editor. Instagram & Twitter: @jaydarcy7. Email: [email protected]

More Coverage

Mamma Mia! Review

Mamma Mia has been the soundtrack of my life for years, but the Opera House musical exceeded all expectations

Review: Edith

100 years on from the execution of Edith Thompson, Crowded Room explores if a modern day jury would come to the same conclusion

Review: Head Over Heels

You might not fall Head Over Heels in love with The Go-Go’s musical but it’s the perfect show to see this LGBT+ History Month

Review: Ellen Kent’s La Bohème

Ellen Kent took the audience at Manchester Opera House back in time with her stylish take on Puccini’s La Bohème

Copyright © The Mancunion
Powered By Spotlight Studios

0161 275 2930  University of Manchester’s Students’ Union, Oxford Rd, Manchester M13 9PR