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118 Great Hampton St, Old Ford Road, Birmingham, West Midlands, B18 6AD
Samantha Pressdee_Covered. Photo by Steve Ullthorne


Part of the Birmingham Comedy Festival on World Mental Health Day

@SammiePressdee | #samcovered ||

In 2014 following the death of her father, anarchist Samantha Pressdee was hospitalised due to a mental breakdown, spending 2 days in a police cell for her own safety until a bed became available on the NHS. Directed by Edinburgh Comedy Award winner Phil Nicol, in Covered Samantha recounts her journey back to sanity through a long battle with the state to get her needs met and the challenges she's faced along the way with social stigma, trolling, stalking and brushes with the police. Samantha Pressdee is now Covered, but in the current economic climate not everyone in the country will be. People are still fighting for their benefits, their homes and their human dignity. Is austerity saving money or costing lives?

'Surprisingly moving' The Scotsman
'beautifully written and genuinely moving with a message which really needs to be heard' Beyond the Joke

The World Health Organisation recognises World Mental Health Day on 10 October every year. This year's theme set by the World Federation for Mental Health is suicide prevention.

Thanks to the foundation of a strong social support network and a comfortable home in the Black Country, where she lives with her pet rescue dog, Samantha Pressdee is Covered. 5 years since her hospitalisation she has managed to avoid further manic or depressive episodes but still occasionally struggles with anxiety. After the United Nations poverty envoy reports austerity has fallen disproportionately on vulnerable groups including the disabled, Samantha is acutely aware than not everyone is lucky enough to get their welfare needs met, the fight continues, and she's inviting you to join her.

Covered is directed by Phil Nicol, premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019, and is part of a wider mental health project Pulling it Together, a series of blogs, podcasts and a booklet featuring contributions from fellow artists with mental health issues including Laura Lexx, Juliette Burton and Dave Chawner, as well as interviews with local women who guided Samantha's mental health recovery like Nutritionist Michelle and Life Coach Andrea. More can be done to support vulnerable people on the fringes of society. This show is a call to action.

Also performing at The Blue Orange Theatre on World Mental Health day is Bipolar comedian Matt Hollins, the winner of Leicester Mercury Comedian of the year 2004 also spent time in a psychiatric hospital. His show Matt Hollins: I'm a Comedian, Let Me Out of Here! Starts at 9pm. Birmingham Comedy Festival has been in operation since 2001. Volunteer-led, it is not run to make money - but to simply celebrate comedy. The 10-day event also features Fern Brady, James Acaster and Reginald D Hunter.


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Tel: 0121 212 2643


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