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New wellbeing festival HeadFest launched

Royal & Derngate is collaborating with BBC Radio Northampton to present a weeklong festival of talks, workshops, films and comedy promoting positive mental health and wellbeing. HeadFest ’22 – How Are You? will take place here at the theatre and in our Filmhouse, from Monday 9 to Sunday 15 May.

We are working alongside professionals from Northamptonshire Healthcare Foundation Trust, St Andrew’s Healthcare and the University of Northampton to allow people access to conversations and services in places where they are not usually available.

There will be the opportunity to take part in experiences such as yoga, drumming therapy and mindful crafting, and there will be Q&A sessions with people talking about their mental health, including the Chief Constable of Northamptonshire Police, Nick Adderley, and Craig Bowler, a lawn bowler from the county who’s been selected to play at the Commonwealth Games this year for Disability Bowls after he turned his life around following a suicide attempt.

Performances include comedians Jonny & The Baptists and Bobby Mair, and one of the nation’s best-loved poets Lemn Sissay, who will read from best-selling memoir and host a Q&A afterwards.

Alongside this and going on sale soon, the Filmhouse will be showing films with a mental health connection, including Encanto and Rafiki, followed by Q&As. The festival will be opened by BBC Radio Northampton’s Helen Blaby, who will also host a Eurovision evening in the Filmhouse, an ever-popular feel-good event!

HeadFest talks and workshops are free of charge but people are encouraged to book in advance to ensure a place. A full schedule of events, and information on how to book, can be found at www.royalandderngate.co.uk/headfest-2022/  For the performances, tickets can be purchased in the usual way by calling Box Office on 01604 624811 or online from the individual event pages on this website. The films and Eurovision event will be on-sale soon from www.northamptonfilmhouse.com.