Living With The Lights On: from the writer
'Living With The Lights On' writer and performer, Mark Lockyer, tells us why this show, and why now.
Its very rare that an actor has the privilege of opening his own show in a brand new theatre, but I am delighted to say that my play ‘Living with the Lights On’ will be doing just that at ‘The Golden Goose Theatre’, Camberwell for 5 performances from Tuesday the 13th through to Saturday 17th October.
Given the fact that we are all struggling one way or another with the consequences of Covid 19 I think my play - whose main theme is around mental health - is timely if not poignant.
The pandemic has affected all of us and for me, at times caused extreme anxiety and worry. Some of us have lost loved ones. The uncertainty of further restrictions, job loss, even just the daily requirement of having to wear a mask can be challenging. Added to that we live in fear of each other as we ‘keep our distance’ in case ‘that person’ might have it. There have been moments of great loneliness and disconnection. A GP told me recently that cases of mental illness are increasing and could be overwhelming in our communities as a direct result of the pandemic.
I have asked myself “When will it get better? When will it all get back to normal?” It’s a question I was reminded I asked myself some years ago when I was struggling personally.
'Living With The Lights On' tells the story of my battle to get better and find a ‘normal’ through the devastating effects Bipolar disorder had on me and my family. I went from being a successful young actor on the stage of the Royal Shakespeare Company to the depths of despair with homelessness, addiction, the justice systems, and prison. But here’s the thing - it took a while, but I got better! And more than that, I found a ‘new normal’ that was far better than the normal I had before. It’s a play about hope. It’s also a piece of entertainment that is funny! We need a laugh, don’t we? I send myself up mercilessly and everyone else that I met from doctors, lawyers the police and a host of other eccentrics I met along the way. But most importantly I talk about getting better. About being well and overcoming massive obstacles and finding the desire to live again..
We will get through these difficulties. Nothing stays the same. To share my story of hope now in this time of uncertainty is a privilege. Come to this ‘Goose’ and have a laugh and maybe a cry but ultimately an inspiring evening I hope in these difficult times. You won’t be disappointed and by attending you will not only be supporting a new space but will be also doing your bit too keep theatre alive and live! We need each other now more than ever. I look forward to seeing you.