“Excellent performance! So worthwhile. Thank you and keep up the great work!”
“Thank you so much. You have inspired me to see my GP tomorrow and to take more notice of what is happening to others. Thanks a million!”
“Woooooooo! Yeah! Let’s continue to encourage men to discuss their feelings and not let it manifest into anger. Maybe it’s time for sadness.”
“Informative, entertaining. Thank you for making mental health okay. And it’s okay to talk especially if you are a bloke!!”
“Really nice mix of covering serious issues whilst keeping it humorous. Very entertaining!!”
“In the moment. True to home current environment. Need more of this in country communities.”
“Well done. My ex-husband had a breakdown and wouldn’t get help or share his pain with anyone.”
“Loved it! Thank you for sharing this work. Q&A very insightful. The characters are so real, like talking to my dad! Wish I could have told more people about it.”
“Loved it! Portrayed men’s view of depression and seeking help beautifully. Showing how you can get to a positive place was fantastic. Thank you.”
“Eye opening. Very truthful towards serious issues.”
“HITS THE TARGET PERFECTLY! KEEP THIS GOING!”
Carpe Diem a Success in Brinkworth
“Carpe Diem is a brilliant, thought provoking, hilarious and sensitive down-to- earth Aussie tale of every day Australian males dealing with issues of health, grief, loss and depression. Acclaimed Australian actor John Wood with Chris Pidd had the audience captivated, treading so lightly through the issues by alternating genuine laugh-out-loud humour with a very real depiction of their subject matter enthralling the audience. I had tears running down my face from laughing and yet as one who has been affected by losing a loved one to suicide I could totally relate to the importance of the message. The message from Carpe Diem is one of mates watching out for each other and not being afraid to ask RUOK. The question and answer session afterwards allowed people to ask questions about mental health issues without fear or embarrassment – wonderful.
It has been many years since live theatre has been seen in this district let alone with an actor of John Wood’s standard. Our Soldiers Memorial Hall felt at home, becoming the theatre of old, with red leather chairs, great lighting, sound, a few props and amazingly talented actors.”
Dr Nancy White BRINKWORTH, SA
Good afternoon Megan,
In relation to our 22nd Nov 2017 Health & Wellbeing Day, I would like to thank Centre Stage Scripts, the actors and the stage technician for their ability to present days such as this to our workers. This year’s event involved 237 of our workers across the two sessions out of a potential 370 workforce.
The feedback I have received from a large percentage of our staff applauded the messages and the very professional play presented by Centre Stage Scripts. The enormous response to Carpe Diem and the impact it had on our staff, both on the day and in the following days/weeks has been very evident. It has also made getting the RUOK? message out simple. I have since had workers contact me requesting my assistance in regards to their own issue(s) or to a colleagues’ or friends’ issues.
There have been many workers who have taken me aside after the play to discuss how they loved the play’s message and how it affected them. Several reported that it gave them an insight into their own family or personal issues and they came away with a better understanding of where or who to go to next!
The feedback from our own Executive and General Manager was evident from the many emails I received and the Letter of Commendation for looking after the Health & Wellbeing of the Council workers. This was largely due to your teams’ efforts.
I trust you will accept this feedback as an honest appraisal of Centre Scripts efforts on the day and please feel free to use any of my feedback as a review for such a fantastic and moving play as Carpe Diem!
Mid-Western Regional Council
Mudgee NSW 2850
“This compelling story will help break down the stigma of seeking support early when life gets tough. The play depicts so beautifully how two mates can help each other in times of need.”
“Carpe Diem is a poignant story of the ups and downs of rural life told in an entertaining way with plenty of humour. Audiences of all ages will relate to the characters and the struggles they are facing. It highlights the importance of helping each other especially when times are difficult and is very relevant to the issues facing rural communities currently. It encourages the audience to ask the tough questions when people around them are not coping, opening the conversation around mental health issues and reducing the stigma associated with seeking help. A thoroughly enjoyable and professional performance that I would highly recommend.”
Mental Health Clinician
“Thank you for the invitation to the first screening. It was awesome. I absolutely loved it!”
Occupational Health Nurse
People & Organisation
MARS Petcare – Wodonga
“I attended the afternoon session of Carpe Diem on Wednesday in Albury. There is so much that I’d like to say about the performance but lack the ability to articulate myself in a way that might not come across as rambling.
My uncle took his own life in a shed three years ago in August, leaving behind a wife, three beautiful kids and myself. He, like many men suffered from depression and wasn’t able to reach out. This is important as I never knew or connected the dots to allow me to be there for him. I didn’t know what to look for.
Only recently I have been struggling a little, and there was a lot in John Wood’s character that I recognised in myself. Particularly the physicality of his portrayal. These are cues that I didn’t recognise in my Uncle and now understand going through them myself.
Fore mostly, I would like to say thank you for investing your time and creative energy into creating Carpe Diem and shining a light on the issues associated with the performance, and I would very much like, if possible to pass on to both actors that I enjoyed and resonated with their performances and thank them for playing their part, and of course Lucy who has pulled it all together.
John Walker and yourself presented some very alarming statistics re male mental health and the frightening numbers of suicide. Before the incident with my Uncle I was oblivious to the numbers. I think most people are….”
Take care and thank you for your efforts.
National Operational Risk Manager
South Albury, NSW, 2640
Wonderful to hear that the two performances of Carpe Diem at Murray Gardens went well! Apparently the residents and guests really loved it. Congratulations on such a successful show!
“The play was great and very well received and the Q & A was both intimate, informative and meaningful. Both achieved exactly what we hoped they would, which was to reach the men of the fire affected community to open up a broader conversation around the supports available to them with regard to their emotional and mental wellbeing particularly in times of crisis, but in essence, at all times.”1st Anniversary of Lancefield Fires 2015
Hello again Megan
Congratulations on the success of the recent tour of Carpe Diem. Of the 13 venues only 2 had relatively poor attendances however this was more than compensated for by the excellent numbers attending the other 11 performances.
As the major sponsor Riverina Bluebell had a large investment in the tour, and I am pleased to tell you that we are thrilled with the result. Your cast played to 1152 people, entertaining them while delivering a very important message.
Your message embraces a large part of the message that we as an organisation try to deliver. To get that message to such a number of people has more than justified our sponsorship and I consider it to be, dollar for dollar one of our best investments. Other board members that I have spoken to agree.
I attended 5 of the performances and loved every one of them. I had a chance to watch the audience at some performances and it was great to see how engaged they were while enjoying the entertainment. Your use of humour while addressing a very serious subject strikes a very delicate balance. John Wood and Chris Pidd do a fantastic job and like true professionals they become their characters and deliver their roles with real honesty and empathy. I got to spend some time with both John and Chris and enjoyed their company immensely. The way they engage with people both in the Q&A sessions and mingle with the crowd at the BBQ and supper at these events really endears them to the audiences; a personal touch that really enhances the impact of the serious message in the play.
No production happens without the work behind the scene. I thank Sarah for the work she put in to make the tour a success, a great effort.Megan, as I acknowledged at the Henty & Lockhart performances, your
insight into the dark world of depression and the way you address the difficult subject is really impressive. Your script entertains and confronts the audience while delivering a very important message. Well done.If the opportunity arises to work with you again I think Riverina Bluebell will be very receptive.
On behalf of Riverina Bluebell thank you again to yourself, John, Chris and Sarah for delivering us a great outcome for our sponsorship.From my personal point of view I feel I have made a connection with all
of you. I will always cherish the time that I spent with each of you and hope to see more of all of you into the future.
Endorsements for Symphony of Life
I would find it aptly difficult to describe the range of emotions I felt and the immense gratitude and respect I have for all of you involved in this wonderful play. The only bitter disappointment I have is that I cannot see it again.
The play so sensitively portrayed the common rollercoaster of emotions and the enormity of stress and changes that is encountered following a cancer diagnosis. For some of the audience watching, it actually gave them comfort knowing that the many faces of grief they had experienced or were still experiencing were similar to what was conveyed in the play. So in other words it ‘normalised the abnormal’ for them and in the process offered suggestions to assist them to move forward. This included the specialness of belonging to a support group like Brave Hearts who can help nurture and offer unique friendships, love, courage and support on their journey.
The excitement of participating in dragon boating was cleverly shown which endorsed the healthy exercise, fun and loving support of a team of people in similar life situations who are enjoying taking life and living it to the fullest.
The other clever element utilized was humour which is always renowned for its wonderful medicinal qualities and definitely was another positive attribute of the show. The clever addition of the talented dancers, music and choreography added so much to the powerful themes of the touching and enlightening story.
For me however the most gratifying part was watching the survivors and supporters participating in the choir. It was so special seeing each of them being touched by the power of music.
To conclude I want to reiterate my sincere thanks to everyone concerned. Extra special thanks and sincere gratitude go to Megan Rigoni for her heartfelt script, Chris Pidd for his compassionate and talented directorship, Simone for her beautiful leadership of the choir, and the wonderful cast, choir, dancers and musicians who perceptively conveyed to us the many faces embedded in a cancer journey.
Jenny Black President Brave Hearts on the Murray
My cancer journey started in July 2007 when I was diagnosed with Pseudomyxoma Peritonei; a rare cancer of the peritoneal cavity. In 2008, my father Alan passed away from pancreatic cancer. In 2009 I had a recurrence of PMP & then in 2011, my sister & I nursed our mother Margaret to her death, also from pancreatic cancer. Needless to say cancer has consumed my life these past 5 years and it’s heavy tentacles have at times, strangled my spirit. But each day is a new day and a chance to celebrate being alive. The Symphony of Life was one such celebration – it was joyous to sing in the choir & be around creative, enthusiastic & talented people. The story so real & the message of hope carried in the songs. L.L
Having the opportunity of being part of the SOL choir is an amazing part of my cancer journey. I have had kidney cancer for 5 years with a few speed humps along the way. After joining the SOL choir earlier this year I had a recurrence of my cancer which required major surgery to remove tumours from my remaining kidney. The joy and healing energy that the choir gave me has been a life changing distraction for me while my doctors still deliberate on a treatment plan. After the school holidays I am joining Simone’s gospel choir Funk Road and prior to the SOL I would never have imagined myself doing anything like this. I am truly grateful.
Feel free to use my account in the hope that someone will experience the immense pleasure that I have gained from SOL. It bought together a group of very different people, some on a cancer journey as I am but also others who I believe gained so much from sharing this journey with us. Some wonderful friendships were made over the last few months. I feel truly blessed. When I was first diagnosed I would never have thought one day I would say that anything good could come out of me having cancer but I have gained so much from walking this track. I have learned how to truly live life and appreciate the beauty in everything. Having my family and friends in the audience witnessing this part of my journey was something very special that I treasure. Thank you for being part of this enlightenment. J.C.
As a Breast Cancer survivor and taking part in the Symphony of Life: I was confronted by my past It brought back many memories – some of which were buried deeply. I gained acceptance of the present It allowed me to process the past and gain acceptance of the person I had become since my diagnosis. I am grinning widely at the future. The experience made me realise that – hey – I had been through a remarkable journey that had made me a much stronger and resilient person. I had gained more than I had lost – much more – and I look forward to a healthy existence in mind and body. The people that I had the pleasure to meet and work with on the production made me sparkle and feel good to be alive. It was truly wonderful. I thank you Megan so much for the wonderful opportunity of being a part of your dream. Fiona Jones
I am blessed to be a Brave Heart, and am amazed that Megan wrote a play about us that touched so many hearts, and was so brilliantly acted out. My only regret is that I didn’t audition to be part of it. My heart is still singing. M.
The experience for me – made me confront my past – accept my present – and grin widely at my future. F
Thank you for informing us about the Symphony of Life. We checked it out on Friday. Really wonderful! It was great for a palliative care nurse to see a happy ending for a change. S
Thank you for allowing me to be part of the choir – it was so uplifting. I never thought I would have done anything like this – cancer has certainly changed my life with positives like this.
Dear Sir/ Madam,
I met and had the pleasure of working with Megan Rigoni on her theatre piece “The Symphony Of Life” late last year in Albury. She’d earlier contacted me out of the blue and asked me to read this play. I did so, and was quite overwhelmed by it.
I had absolutely no hesitation about getting on board to bring it to the stage. It was an extraordinarily moving piece about the pain, loss and healing associated with the cancer journey as told by real people in the Albury area, based on their own experiences and distilled into this amazing piece of theatre by Megan. It was very well researched indeed, but more importantly, it was extremely theatrical.
From the outset I was very impressed with her grasp of the subject, and her abiding loyalty to the “real” people she was portraying, and her ability to distil her research into a dramatic “reality” was quite unique. I was mightily impressed by her ability to accept criticism with total equanimity, while strongly maintaining her vision and commitment to her subjects. She always wanted to honour “her” people and what they had said to her in their interviews with her; but she always listened, stuck to her guns where necessary, and accepted the difference between the “real” and the “dramatised” where it mattered.
This was a great relief personally as the “real “PECKER is almost twenty years older than me and partially crippled. I might add that many more experienced theatre writers wouldn’t have been capable of making the important adjustments that she did with such ease. I’m sure Megan would describe herself as a “learner”, but I’ve rarely met anyone with such a startling ability to learn.
In the end it was one of the best theatrical experiences, for both me and the audience in my more than forty year professional career. I have absolutely no doubt that her best work is yet to come, and hope that I might have some small involvement in it. If you are considering supporting her, I commend your taste and can only encourage you to do so. Yours faithfully, John Wood
Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. – Scott Adams
There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly. – Buckminster Fuller
Imagination is more important than knowledge. For while knowledge defines all we currently know and understand, imagination points to all we might yet discover and create. – Albert Einstein
Humour is by far the most significant activity of the human brain. – Edward De Bono
I believe that the basic attribute of mankind is to look after each other. – Fred Hollows
Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success. – Henry Ford
Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort. – Franklin D Roosevelt
The idea is locked inside. All you have to do is remove the excess stone. – Michelangelo on creativity