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Cracking Up!

Cracking up is a cutting edge comedy show that helps lift the lid on mental health. It is a sensitive mix of comedy, sketches and poetry, founded on research and contributions from people who have experienced mental health difficulties. By taking an informed yet light-hearted look at when life gives you a bit of a kicking, the show encourages people to be more open to talking about and seeking help for their mental health, and helps reduce stigma by normalising mental health problems. 
Click here to see some clips.

Cracking Up! can be tailored for different audiences and can be booked as:

  • The full show featuring stand up comedy, drama sketches and client poetry.
    Suitable for the public and employers (2 hours with a 20 minute interval)
  • A shorter show featuring purely stand up comedy
    Suitable for the public , employers, corporate events and conferences (30 minutes - 1 hour)
  • A presentation on mental health/social inclusion with comedy excerpts from comedian John Ryan.
    Suitable for conferences and employers
  • A conference/corporate entertainment piece (eg after dinner)
  • A comedy and workshop combination to explore the topic of mental health
    Suitable for employers, colleges and conferences


Cracking Up! was first developed and piloted by Maya Twardzicki in NHS SUrrey Logo

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Cracking Up Cast

  • Award winning comedian and compere - John Ryan
  • Comedian - Gareth Berliner
  • Actors - Sean Kearney, Jason Webb and Mark Rawlings
  • Producer – Maya Twardzicki
  • Poems written by a member of Leatherhead Clubhouse
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Other Shows

Cracking Up was successfully adapted to address mental health and diversity issues in Surrey prisons by Southside Partnership, in a project called Bringing the Outside In.

Discussion groups were run with inmates to help inform the scripts and several inmates performed their poetry in the show. The show was filmed and DVDs are being sent to other UK prisons to assist them in raising awareness of and challenging stigma around mental health and diversity issues.

Click here to see some clips.


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