Five reasons why ‘What’s the Matter with You?’ is such a great show

I was fortunate to interview the team behind What’s the Matter With You?  the new play from Mighty Heart Theatre performed at the Waterside Arts Centre in Sale from 26 – 28 November.  It’s a really impressive production, which will be shown again on 23 January as part of HOME’s PUSH Festival.  Here are five reasons why I love this play.

  1. At Sale, there was a wellbeing room where you could (and should) make finger puppets, take a weather selfie (mine is the picture above), sit in a tepee listening to specially composed music, and pick up a comment from one of the many people interviewed on how to deal with those bad days.
  2. Mental health is a tricky subject to cover in theatre.  It can be too serious, or it can be too lightweight.  This production finds a place where the message is woven with the performance, and delivered in a way that makes you want to listen.  As they say: ‘Like a warm hug off your best mate, we make a fool of ourselves, throw some glitter on you and then tell you a story that will change your world and change how you see yourself and other people’.
  3. Mighty Heart Theatre have a way of using the right routine to deliver each message.   Using dance, a range of beautiful puppets, a couple of sketches and some straight theatre, the verbatim extracts from those interviewed comes to life.
  4. The pace of this show is good.  There are big routines, and then there are moments of stillness and quiet.  There are very funny moments, and then great seriousness and depth.  Between each routine, there is time to think about what has just been said.
  5. You’re still thinking about the issues days later.
  6. There’s glitter in unexpected places.

OK, so that was six but I had to mention the glitter.  What is so great about this production is its ability to convey a difficult and complex subject so well, with such humour, but ultimately with such impact.


Theatre lover, amateur director, occasional actor, writer.

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