Mental – Autumn Dates | Madlove and other news.

the vacuum cleaner. News.

Mental – Autumn Dates. Riga. Glasgow. London. Manchester.

“One of the most powerful portraits of creativity and depression I’ve ever seen… a heart-rending journey.” RealTime Arts

The Metropolitan Police call him a Domestic Extremist. The NHS have described him as ‘highly disturbed’ and labelled him with Borderline Personality Disorder. ‘A real and present threat to the safe running of our lawful business’ is how E.ON described him at the Royal Courts of Justice.

He prefers the term Mental.

After 10 years of being an outlaw and inpatient, artist activist ‘the vacuum cleaner’ presents an autobiographical performance told through his psychiatric records, police intelligence files and corporate injunctions collected through the Data Protection Act.

Riga – 3,4,6,7 Sept. Homo Novus International Theatre Festival – Tickets from – Sold Out.

Glasgow – 3,4,5 Oct. Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival at Tramway – Tickets

London – 24 Oct – 2 Nov. Artsadmin – Tickets from – Please book early, all past performances have sold-out well in advance.

Manchester 8,9 Nov. Word of Warning – for updates on tickets check –


This show contains material some may find challenging, and is not suitable for people under the age of 16. 

Mental was made with support from Arts Council England, Artsadmin and In Between Time.


Madlove – A Designer Asylum

It ain’t no bad thing to need a safe place to go mad. The problem is that a lot of psychiatric hospitals are more punishment than love… they need some Madlove. Is it possible to go mad in a positive way? How would you create a safe place in which to do so? If you designed your own asylum, what would it look like?

Madlove is our most ambitious project to date, it will see a space transformed into an asylum designed with mad people to go mad in a safe and creative way.

We’ll launched the website for this, so have a look, and get in touch if you’d like to get involved – |


Alias – Bobby Williams

This short film explores the intensified and fragmented experience of being confined to bed with acute mental distress. A series of vignettes are collected from around a bedroom, layered with aural perspectives entering the room from the outside world. Light seeps into the room with varying intensities and affect. Magnified and cropped still life images are portrayed in real time.

Bobby Williams works with the inherent flaws of three different cameras, which struggle to maintain focus or process certain textures and patterns with their own characteristic signatures. This serves to both enhance and distort, providing a possible metaphor for the human experience of extreme mental health.

This piece was inspired by Mental, a site-specific autobiographical performance in a bed, by ‘the vacuum cleaner’, and artist-activist with experience of severe and debilitating mental illness.


City and Hackney Centre for Mental Health

An intervention involving a Hackney bin and some stickers on the street the artist lives on.

the vacuum cleaner