'Up Men' take to the dance floor!

Man Up
(Pending editorial review)
United Kingdom (Stoke-on-Trent)
Man Up was a groundbreaking performance project by Restoke looking at mental health and masculinity. After 12 months of conversations, artistic adventures and co-creation - in August 2018 21 men took to the dance floor of a Working Mens Club in Stoke-on-Trent to share their personal stories and experiences using spoken-word, dance and live music. On the 24th August the final performance ended with a standing ovation and cast and audiences in tears with pride and disbelief in what they have achieved and the importance of the stories they had just shared. Audience feedback included: "Man Up is a beautiful gift of a show. Full of fury & fragility, challenging expectations & building resilience. An urgent reminder of the breadth of experience of masculinity." "Undoubtedly one of the best pieces of authentic human expression I have had the privilege to witness" "The show left me trembling with joy, laughter, tears, hope, to have seen such vulnerability become strength, the isolated gathered. Inspirational, essential, the kind of show every man needs to see..." Now these men, known as the 'Up Men', are on a mission to continue to spread the word and to build supportive and inclusive networks for men to continue come together. As one of the Up Men CJ states: "Thanks to Restoke, a group of us men got up on stage and poured our hearts out to over 500 people at Goldenhill Working Mans Club on the topic of male mental health and toxic masculinity. Most of us had no training or experience in theatrics. Through spoken word, dance, and art, we revealed our fears, our pasts, our challenges, and hopes for the future. We sent out a message that it’s time all us men opened up and helped each other along because we’re losing far too many beautiful individuals who’ve lost the strength and support needed to continue. We know the message is being received loud clear. We know it’s already changing lives. We know we’ve only just gotten started. This is how we ALL Man Up."
Submitted by

Restoke (30 August 2018)

Bio

Based in Stoke-on-Trent, Restoke involve people in artistic adventures and create unmissable performances in surprising locations across the city. Restoke bring people from all walks of life alongside professional artists to co-create ambitious performances and programmes, driven by the stories, lived-experiences, skills and commitment of those who take part. People, community, dancing and storytelling are at the heart of our work.

Project leader

Restoke

Man Up - Trailer

Man Up. Photographer - Jenny Harper

Man Up. Photographer - Jenny Harper

Man Up. Photographer - Jenny Harper

Man Up. Photographer - Jenny Harper

Man Up. Photographer - Jenny Harper

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