Entertainment, News, Review

Review: Institute – A visceral and physical exploration of man’s struggle with mental health

Off 57

humanity-hallows-magazine-issue-4-web2

Humanity Hallows Issue 4 Out Now!
Pick up your copy on campus or read online.


Amit Lahav’s powerful play Institute is at HOME, Manchester until Saturday 22nd October.

By Charlie Jordin


The performance takes place on a dimly lit stage surrounded by towering rows of drawers and filing cabinets. Four men adorn the claustrophobic stage, each dressed in suits and barefoot and each seemingly mentally struggling in different ways. Whether it is a dystopian vision of an office or a treatment room for a support group of emotionally damaged men is unclear, yet an explanation is unnecessary as the performances are so powerful in their depictions of four men struggling with their mental health.

institute-presented-by-gecko-pic-01-by-richard-haughton

The incredibly physical performances of the all-male cast takes full advantage of the minimalist set, with the drawers and filing cabinets climbed upon and danced around. The energetic choreography transcends language, powerfully communicated what each character is experiencing through dance. The props at times physically restrict each character, expressing the strain their mental well-being is having on their lives, much as those suffering from mental illness find everyday tasks more challenging.

The drawers symbolise how men in particular feel the need to hide their problems; memories, props and even characters are pulled out of the drawers. Memories are repressed in the drawers and characters relive painful reminiscences by peering inside the drawers. The use of the drawers, an everyday object, reflects how confronting mental health is inevitable and inescapable.

institute-presented-by-gecko-pic-02-by-richard-haughton

The wild and expressive musical accompaniment to the performance perfectly encapsulates the tense and unpredictable environment in which this play takes place. The immersive acoustics of HOME creates an intimate relationship between the actors and the spectators, with the audience able to hear each breath the characters take, as if they were on stage with them.

This performance boldly draws upon important discussions that should be addressed within society. The play confronts our failings in supporting the mentally ill, the stigma surrounding it and the fragility of masculinity. The most common cause of death in men under 35 is suicide, with men much less likely to seek help. This struggle to seek care is addressed in the play as the men seem reluctant to come to terms with their emotions and accept each other’s help in fear of seeming weak. The play refuses to give answers and is an enigma in the same way that mental health is, something that can never be fully understood.

Institute is part of HOME’s drama season and tickets are currently available for Friday 21st October and Saturday 22nd October performances. Visit the HOME website for details.


 

About the author / 

Humanity Hallows
Humanity Hallows

Humanity Hallows is Manchester Metropolitan University’s official student magazine.

More News Stories:

  • Classical Archives: Behind Holst – The Planets

    In our Classical Archives series, Bronwyn Riseley looks at composer Gustav Holst’s 1914-16 orchestral suite The Planets By Bronwyn Riseley The Planets, Op. 32: I. Mars, the Bringer of War This composition may seem familiar if you’ve watched films such as Star Wars or Gladiator (we’ll call it heavy inspiration), but this is the origin…

  • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Trailer: 65 million years in the making

    By Pruthvi Khilosia Film fan excitement went viral when the trailer for the next chapter in the Jurassic series, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, was finally released on Friday. This is something that fans all around the world have been waiting for since the release of the fourth film Jurassic World in 2015. A fourteen year wait…

  • #HumanityHallowsMCR: WIN £100 Voucher with Student Photography Competition

    Featured image: Assan Begimov Are you a Manchester Met student and photography enthusiast? Do you love the city of Manchester as much as we do? If so, then this is the competition for you! Humanity Hallows, Manchester Met’s student magazine, is running a photography competition with the theme of ‘Manchester’. To take advantage of this fantastic opportunity…

  • The Charlatans @ Manchester Apollo

    Touring new album, Different Days, The Charlatans are back and showing that there is plenty of life in them yet! By Sam Gosling “It’s good to be back”, announced frontman Tim Burgess as the indie legends took to the stage. Burgess and co. open with ‘Just When You’re Thinkin’ Things Over’ from their early self-titled album. The Manchester crowd…

Instagram Feed

1
Something is wrong. Response takes too long or there is JS error. Press Ctrl+Shift+J or Cmd+Shift+J on a Mac.

Categories