After hit runs at Canal Cafe and Baron’s Court Theatres last year, Tom Stock’s new play Netflix & Chill, directed by Luke Adamson, transfers to London’s Drayton Arms Theatre for a limited season from 11 to 29 February 2020, in support of The Mental Health Foundation. Time to get booking!
Have you ever wondered what goes through people’s head in certain situations? What do you think about during a date? Or the random thoughts that go through your head during sex? What about when someone’s mental health is deteriorating?
Ben is a working-class chef whose life spirals out of control after trying to rekindle a relationship with his mum. His work, friendships and love life are all tested as his week goes from bad to worse. In this dark comedy exploring mental health and toxic masculinity, you’ll get a glimpse into Ben’s inner monologue when he’s “Netflix & Chilling”, including stories of tragic sexual conquests, Magaluf prostitutes, and ejaculating into a bus tray.
Author Tom Stocks plays Ben. A working-class actor, director and producer, Stocks is also the founder of Actor Awareness, which campaigns for more equality, diversity and working-class talent in the arts and aims to provide a community and voice for these disenfranchised groups. Netflix & Chill is co-produced by Actor Awareness and JLA Productions, an independent company specialising in socially conscious theatre.
Stocks is joined in the cast by Emily Ellis, Julie Binysh, Charlotte Price and Joseph Lindoe (who also co-produces). The production is directed by JLA co-founder Luke Adamson, who had a five-star hit at Drayton Arms last year with his Oscar Wilde-with-a-Northern-twist comedy Th’Importance of Bein’ Earnest, which he adapted, co-directed and starred in.
Male mental health
Netflix & Chill is an in-depth yet entertaining piece tackling male mental health. Mental health is pressing modern issue. With more and more people being diagnosed with mental health challenges, work exploring the topic is more needed than ever.
The documentary A Royal Team Talk recently hit the small screens with Prince William expressing his concern that “Men are the hardest-to-reach audience on the subject of mental health. Suicide is the biggest killer of young men under the age of 45.” Indeed, according to The Mental Health Foundation, 75% of suicides are committed by men. The FA has also just launched the #HeadsUp campaign to continue raise awareness amongst this hard to reach demographic.
Netflix & Chill, which is supported by and raise funds for The Mental Health Foundation, highlights the pressures men face in modern dating, the toxic world of ‘lad culture’ and the difficulty men face when it comes to talking about their feelings.
Explaining why he wrote Netflix & Chill, Tom Stocks said:
“Both my uncles committed suicide when I was younger, so writing on this subject is close to my heart. Large parts of the script are based on a true story. It is great to write about such a taboo subject but in a light-hearted way, which doesn’t beat you over the head with the issue.
“The story is very relatable and will resonate with a younger audience by tackling a number of issues. The show embodies what most men do when trying to talk on serious issues, we deflect it with comedy. I hope it highlights that we, as men, should talk to each other more and what signs to look out for in male suicide. We aspire to create a conversation and a debate on this taboo subject.”
Director Luke Adamson added: “I was delighted to be invited by Tom to direct Netflix & Chill. As someone who has battled with my mental health for many years and only recently reached out for help, I wanted to be at the forefront of the conversation. I feel I’ve been able to bring a lot of my own experience to the piece and exorcise some of my own demons along the way.
“It was important to me that while talking about male mental health we also explore toxic masculinity. The pressures that modern society places on men to behave a certain way often leads to battles within our own heads. Some of the anecdotes in Netflix & Chill are perfect examples of the bravado and nonsense that boys spout in an effort to appear ‘more of a man’. The piece is funny and dark and really opens up lots of conversations.”
Netflix & Chill runs from 11 to 29 February 2020 at the Drayton Arms Theatre, 153 Old Brompton Road, London SW5 0LJ, with performances Tuesdays to Saturdays at 7.30pm. Tickets are priced £14-16. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!