I’m Holly. How are you? Good, I hope. But if you’re not maybe you’re feeling a bit stressed like me. Or tired. (I’m usually one of the two.)

I’m beginning this blog post feeling stressed because I told James at Northern Stage I would send something over to him on the 11th of April and it is now the 30th and as you can see I entirely FORGOT TO SEND SOMETHING.

I’m writing this blog post because I’m bringing my show Tensile Strength (or How to Survive at Your Wit’s End) along to Northern Stage on Tuesday 14th May. It’s about stress. (Hopefully some of you will read this and come along to see it when it’s at Northern Stage and make all of this worthwhile)

I’ve been touring the show around Scotland and England – it’s been lovely. I think it will be exceptionally lovely to bring it to Northern Stage.

I love Newcastle – it’s where I learned to make theatre, and Stage 3 is where I got my taste for solo performance.

Tensile Strength is a show about stress, that old chestnut. We’re all familiar with it – to what extent I couldn’t say.

I made this show because I am stressed, quite a lot.

I made it because I wanted to see if other people feel the same as me.

And because people love to tweet about living on fucking coffee and never sleeping all the while everyone’s answer to ‘how are you?’ is ‘tired.’ and it’s DAFT to go on like this to be honest.

I perform this show because I like the catharcism of being She, He, and They, I like taking people on their stories with me, and I like briefly chatting with audiences through the show too.

I would very much like to have the chance to chat briefly with you too, and for you all to hear this story. I think it’s an important one.

When I was at the Tron in March, I did a post-show discussion where we all had a good chat about how we need to talk more about the ways to keep our mental health in good shape, like we do our physical. Afterwards a couple came up to me and said they know it’s cliché to say that over and over but it’s true. It is – and we need to keep saying it until people really listen.

Hopefully this show will act as a way for you to consider your mental health and how to make it feel better when it’s not so great.

I have had gorgeous feedback from audiences (so far!): I have been told that people ‘don’t feel as alone’. I have been told that the show was ‘bloody marvellous’ by someone who said it also put them ‘through the wringer’. I have been told multiple times that the show made people feel ‘normal’.

I hope you can come along and tell me how the show made you feel, too.

I have to scurry back into rehearsals now, and also shouldn’t keep James waiting any longer! So with that time limit in mind I’ll end this post now with a fun show-related fact:

The Tensile Strength of an object is the greatest longitudinal stress it can withstand without breaking – so basically how much you can stretch something to breaking point.

I learned about it in GCSE Physics – seemed fitting for a title.

Cya in May xo

See Tensile Strength (How To Survive At Your Wit's End) on Tue 14 May, 8pm, you can book tickets below or by clicking here to find out more