"The play has so many layers, tones and really does feel like you're sitting inside mental health itself..." James Cartmell
Borderline Electra, written and directed by Broughton based creative Stevie Helps, returns to Salford after various treatments and incarnations as it focuses on the troubled life of Rachael and the influence of personality disorder.
It first came on our radar a couple of years ago when we spoke with Stevie about the play, mental health issues and the decisions we make in extreme circumstances (see previous Salford Star article – click here).
Stevie specialises in sensitively addressing contemporary issues and sculpting believable and relatable stories, and the subject matter is close to his heart...
"I cannot wait for everyone to see Borderline Electra" he says "The cast are all super talented. The play means so much to me because I have embedded my own experiences with mental health into the story."
This production features all the best elements from previous incarnations of the show and re-emerges shorter, faster and stronger with a brand new ending. It's an unconventional, spiky play that seems to have a personality disorder of its very own.
Borderline Electra returns to Salford at Floodlights House Theatre on 17th November following a sold-out run at The Lowry last January, receiving five star reviews. This time, Claire Nixon takes the lead role of Rachel alongside James Cartmell who will be playing The Mind. James discusses the play with the Salford Star and that character, The Mind...
What attracted you to the script?
"Instead of shying away from darker themes such as mental health, which so many people deal with on a daily basis, the play tackles them head-on which I really liked when I read the script. I think that because of the issues we cover in the production, it's going to impact people differently depending on who they are. What I hope for the play is that it will inspire people to talk about these things and to continue conversations that need to be had instead of shying away from them. Mental health is not something people should really be embarrassed about at all and, with the play, we have tried to spark that conversation."
Can you tell us a little about your character?
"I play the character of The Mind, who could be described as the showman of the play. I convey the thoughts, feelings and emotions throughout, especially Rachel's mixed emotions with her borderline personality disorder. My character can be very physical and abstract. If mental health was a voice and body it would look like my character. That's also the challenging and vital reason for my character and why I am working so hard to get this right. It's so exciting as an actor to play a role so unusual and surreal yet so clear and definite."
Do you have a favourite moment in the play?
"I do have a few favourite moments in the show. It's hard to put it down to just one without giving away the ending; I love how the play as a whole feels like mental health itself. The play has so many layers, tones and really does feel like you're sitting inside mental health itself. I feel some striking moments are the use of human props and set pieces representing and becoming different objects."
Borderline Electra by No Egos Theatre Productions
Saturday 17th November 7pm
Footlights House Theatre
48 Kansas Avenue
Media City M50 2GL
Tickets £10 – to book click here
For further details also see the Facebook event page – click here
The Full Cast...
The Mind: James Cartmell
Rachel A: Claire Nixon
Rachel B: Lori Mahon
Rachel C: Dani Whitehead
Elliot: Ashley Obrien
Stuart: Simon Bugg
Jane: Siobhan Pearson
Nurse Susan: Emily Millar
Tina: Cynthia Ma
Julie: Natalie Ciufo
Nurse Michelle: Susan Lord
Nurse Roxanne: Naomi Nelson
Words by Ian Leslie