Acclaimed Australian actor John Wood will visit Cobram as part of a free theatre production that will bring important mental health messages to the community.
Part of a regional tour across Australia, the production titled Carpe Diem is about how men deal with mental health issues.
Supported by Albury actor Chris Pidd, Carpe Diem is a contemporary portrayal of Australian males dealing with issues of health, grief, loss and depression.
Set in a fictional town in inland Australia, it portrays the friendship of Nev, a hard-working farmer, and John his stock agent friend. Both have been impacted by the long-running drought and are each suffering their own personal crisis.
‘‘Carpe Diem stresses the importance of mateship and professional care in times of crises,’’ Mr Pidd said.
‘‘It is a comedy that delivers the mental health messages in a way that is entertaining, immediate and highly relevant.’’
Written by Megan Rigoni, the play was inspired by the experiences of people she knew.
Leading actor John Wood, who has partnered with Ms Rigoni on two previous productions, said men need to ask the questions and not ignore their apparent depression or inner pain.
‘‘It’s a very Australian thing (not just male, necessarily) to feel that it’s none of our business and that someone knows what they’re doing,’’ he said.
Mr Woods has appeared in several much-loved Australian television shows and movies, with Blue Heelers among his most famous.
Mr Pidd, who is also general manager of Lifeline Albury, said the compelling story would help break down the stigma of seeking support early when life gets tough.
The free community event is presented by the Rural Adversity Mental Health Program and Murrumbidgee Local Health District, in partnership with playwright Megan Rigoni of Centre Stage Scripts.
●If you, or someone you know, may be experiencing mental illness call the MLHD AccessLine on 1800800944 to arrange local support.
●The free production Carpe Diem will feature at the Josephinium Centre, St Joseph’s Primary School, Cobram on Sunday, March 26, doors open at 2pm for a 2.30pm start.
The event will also feature a question and answer session, meet and greet and barbecue. Collect tickets from the Cobram Visitor Information Centre.