Acting lecturer’s play takes to the stage
A play written by a lecturer at The Northern School of Art about living with OCD is being staged at Northern Stage in Newcastle.
Written by Jonny Bussell, the programme leader for the School’s BA (Hons) degree in Acting for Stage and Screen, ‘Bizarre Love Triangle: A verbatim play about OCD’ focuses on the reality of being affected by the condition and seeks to dispel some of the common myths about it.
Commissioned by north east-based Vivid Theatre Company, Jonny’s play is being presented on Wednesday 13 March as part of Brain Awareness Week 2019, in conjunction with the Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University.
His script uses material gathered from a series of interviews from people affected by OCD and will be presented as a multimedia journey in a performance by Vivid Theatre Company’s artistic director, David Edwards.
The play’s title references a New Order song and the production features a number of the band’s tracks but Jonny explains that there is far more to OCD than a compulsion to keep things neat and organised.
“Writing the script gave me a fascinating insight into the realities of OCD. Most people think it is just about compulsive checking and associate it with Sheldon in The Big Bang Theory but it’s very far from being a laughing matter.
“I hope the play helps to promote further awareness of a much misunderstood and often derided mental health issue.”
Jonny’s script for ‘Bizarre Love Triangle’ follows another play exploring OCD he penned in 2016 called ‘Just Checking’ which was also produced by Vivid Theatre Company and was performed at Arc in Stockton on Tees and Northern Stage. Other short plays of his have been performed at venues such as Newcastle’s Live Theatre and London venues, The Cockpit Theatre and Theatre 503.
As a writer Jonny, pictured, was part of Live Theatre’s Writer’s Group 2011 and Jonny’s first full length play ‘The Centre’ was produced at Arc in Stockton. His play ‘The Bag’ toured the North East and Scotland with Northumberland Theatre Company and ‘One Way Street’ was produced by Less is More Productions as part of their inaugural new writing festival.
Jonny, from Yarm on Teesside, has worked in the acting industry for over 12 years and in the teaching profession for over eight years.
He joined The Northern School of Art in 2018 to set up the School’s acting for stage and screen degree course and is putting his playwriting experience to good use with his students.
“All the advice I give them is based on my experience and real-life practice which is really helpful in helping students to prepare for careers in stage and screen.”
‘Bizarre Love Triangle: A verbatim play about OCD’ is at Newcastle’s Northern Stage at 19:30 on Wednesday 13 March 2019. To book tickets visit Northern Stage
Details of the BA (Hons) Acting for Stage & Screen course and all skills-based creative courses offered by The Northern School of Art are available at www.northernart.ac.uk Or visit one of the School’s open days at its Hartlepool campus which take place on Saturday 23 March 2019, Saturday 8 June 2019 and Thursday 4 July 2019.