Caroline Horton triumphs at the 2019 Mental Health Fringe Award
By NCVC Staff | Published on Oct 12, 2023
The Edinburgh Fringe has seen a surge in mental health-related performances in recent years, with a diverse range of artists delving into the subject through comedy, plays, and cabaret. To recognize and encourage this vital work, the Mental Health Fringe Award was established. This year, Caroline Horton emerged as the winner, captivating audiences with her powerful and honest portrayal of living with depression in her show, “All of Me”.
Celebrating Outstanding Artistic Work
The shortlist for the 2019 Mental Health Fringe Award showcased an array of dynamic and thought-provoking shows centered around mental health. Esteemed artists such as Richard Gadd, Bryony Kimmings, Eva O’Connor, and Emile Hetland were recognized for their exceptional contributions. These performances challenge stigmas surrounding mental health, sparking crucial conversations that resonate deeply with audiences.
Uncompromising and Unforgettable
Caroline Horton’s show, “All of Me”, left a lasting impact on viewers. Her extraordinary depiction of living with depression was raw, brave, and vivid. Rather than offering a neat narrative of recovery or cathartic release, Caroline’s unvarnished honesty allowed her experiences to shine through. The show fearlessly delves into the depths of mental illness, painting a vivid picture that refuses to sugar-coat or shy away from the harsh realities.
The Power of Storytelling
Using mythological storytelling, Caroline Horton takes her audience on an immersive journey into the underworld of mental illness. Her unique approach weaves together personal experiences and universal themes, creating a tapestry that resonates deeply with viewers. “All of Me” stands as a testament to the profound impact that art can have in raising awareness and understanding of mental health.
The Magic Seven
The shortlist for the 2019 Mental Health Fringe Award showcased seven remarkable shows, each exploring mental health from a distinct perspective. These performances not only entertained but also enlightened audiences, shedding light on the complexities and challenges faced by individuals living with mental health conditions. From Emilie Hetland’s poignant and amusing “A Short Cut to Happiness” to Bryony Kimmings’ ambitious and deeply personal “I’m a Phoenix, Bitch,” each show offered a unique and invaluable contribution to the conversation around mental health.
Recognizing Outstanding Contributions
The shortlist and ultimate winner were carefully chosen by a panel of esteemed judges, comprising individuals with a deep understanding and appreciation for the arts and mental health. The winner, Caroline Horton, will have the opportunity to bring her show, “All of Me,” to the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival next year, where its impact can continue to be felt.
A Commitment to Mental Health
The Mental Health Foundation is a UK charity dedicated to promoting mental health and addressing the root causes of mental health issues. Through initiatives such as the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival and the annual Gala for Mental Health at the Edinburgh Fringe, the foundation works to celebrate the achievements of artists with lived experiences of mental health challenges. By highlighting the relationship between creativity and mental well-being, these events promote positive mental health and foster understanding.
A Vibrant Cultural Celebration
The Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival has become one of Scotland’s most diverse and influential cultural events. With over 300 events each year, spanning music, film, visual art, theatre, dance, and literature, the festival offers a platform for artists to express themselves and explore the intersection between creativity and the mind. By engaging with communities, fostering collaborations, and prioritizing social justice, the festival has become an internationally recognized model for combining artistic excellence with a mental health agenda.
Embracing the Arts
The Tron Theatre, located in the heart of Glasgow’s Merchant City, is one of Scotland’s premier mid-scale producing and presenting theatres. With its multiple performance spaces, rehearsal rooms, and vibrant creative hub, the Tron Theatre supports and nurtures a wide range of artistic endeavors. As the home of the Tron Theatre Company, which produces its own work and collaborates with other artists, the theater plays a vital role in Scotland’s artistic landscape.
Caroline Horton’s triumph at the 2019 Mental Health Fringe Award is a testament to the power of art in destigmatizing mental health and initiating meaningful conversations. Her show, “All of Me,” along with the other exceptional productions on the shortlist, have played a crucial role in challenging prevailing narratives and expanding our understanding of mental health. Through their bravery and honesty, these performances have enriched our cultural landscape and opened doors for further exploration and empathy.