All in the mind

Comedy festival for mental health

A host of comics have being recruited to take part in a comedy festival to promote mental health

Barry Cryer, Reginald D Hunter, Jenny Eclair and Mark Steel are among those appearing at the Off The Wall event in Exeter from October 10 to 19.

It has been organised by the charity MIND to spread the word about the mental health issue.

They say the festival was conceived because of the "many links between mental health and comedy, including the fact that many people in comedy have 'come out' as having mental health problems and are not discriminated against because of it."

Organisers say they were also frustrated about the way comedy can reinforce stereotypes, and thought that alternative comics could help challenge attitudes, as they have done with racism and sexism.

The issue has been flamed this week when The Sun branded Frank Bruno 'bonkers' after he was admitted to a mental health unit. The paper backtracked - though not apologised - following a storm of protest, and launched a fundraising campaign for Sane.

Other acts taking part in the Exeter festival include Norman Lovett, Nick Revell, Nina Conti and Malcolm Hardee's Greatest Show On Legs.

For full details, visit the official website.

Published: 24 Sep 2003

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