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Self Injury Through Time

Self Injury Through Time

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A new theatre group for people with lived experience of self harm.

Come along and explore the history of self harm and help break the stigmas around it, and raise awareness in a supportive environment.

In this collaboration between Self Injury Support, acta Community Theatre, and researcher Alanna Skuse, you will have the opportunity to research, write, act, perform and create in a safe space.

Over six months you will develop a unique theatre show as a group and perform it at acta Theatre in July.

What is Self-Injury Through Time?

In February 2024, acta, Self Injury Support and Alanna Skuse are starting a group to explore the history and raise awareness of self-harm. We will be sharing ideas and learning about the history of self-harm and how it has evolved/what has stayed the same. We will use the weekly sessions over the next 4 months to create a performance – completely written and devised by the group. There are chances to act, write, research and a safe space to be creative and have your voice heard.

What do you mean by self-harm?

We’re looking for this to be a group that can have different experiences of self-harm. This will be a space to explore what self-harm means to you, maybe thinking about what sort of reactions you’ve had from other people or thoughts you’ve had yourself and how we can look into the past to see if it may be comforting or help us give a new light to mental health and self-harm. Working as a team, we’ll produce and perform a piece of theatre to convey the months of exploration and preparation to the audience.

Who is working on the project?

Alanna Skuse
I’m an academic who researches how self-injury is represented in history, particularly the 1600s and 1700s. Though many people think of self-injury as a modern phenomenon, it appears in some of the most famous works of literature from this time, including Shakespeare’s plays. In these texts, self-injury works in many different ways, from political protest to a means of communication. By sharing stories about self-injury in the past, I hope to prompt people to think about their own experiences in new ways, but I also want to gain new perspectives on my own work from people with different life experiences.

Self Injury Support
Only UK-wide self-harm & self-injury charity offering direct support, reliable information, expert training and specialist consultancy.

Do I have to audition? Do I have to pay?

There are no auditions and it is free to join, but there are a limited number of places and they will be given on a first come, first served basis so please do get in touch if you’d like to join us on this journey. To take part, you need to be 18+ years old, have lived experience of self-harm, and be available most Tuesdays between January and July 2024.

When are the sessions?

We will be running this group as weekly 1hr 30min sessions every Tuesday at 2.45pm – 4.15pm. We start on 20th February 2024 and run through to early July 2024 when we will be performing two shows at the acta Theatre in Bedminster.

How do I sign up?

If you would like to join, please email