The Eradication of Schizophrenia in Western Lapland

Ridiculusmus_The EradicationThe first of a trilogy of work to be developed over the next five years focusing on mental health, The Eradication of Schizophrenia in Western Lapland immerses the audience in an ambitious and innovative split staging arrangement where the action and dialogue from two different sequences of scenes are simultaneously performed to two different groups of audience in the same space.

An investigation of auditory hallucination through the lens of one family’s experience of psychoses, The Eradication of Schizophrenia in Western Lapland presents the first psychotic episodes of a mother and son; with fantastical results involving Finnish Folk, roast vegetables, Adolf Hitler and a knitted toilet roll cover.

Inspired by the Finnish “Open Dialogue” treatment method, it conjures both a comic, delusional nightmare and a hopeful world of polyphonic uncertainty. Based on the idea that psychosis happens “between people” and not “within”, Open Dialogue focuses not on “curing” individuals but on the network of relationships surrounding them.

Flagship UK company Ridiculusmus began as a rabble of graduates adapting comic novels and has evolved over 25 years with the aim of being both serious and funny. Their shows include: Total Football, The Importance of Being Earnest and Yes Yes Yes. The Eradication of Schizophrenia in Western Lapland is a unique show blurring the ‘mad’ and the ‘sane’ in an unsettling, electrifying theatre experience.

Ridiculusmus co-artistic directors and performers David Woods and Jon Haynes have both had a long association with mental illness through different personal experiences. This work has been created through a collaboration with Associate Professors Suresh Sundram and Neil Cole at the Brain Centre (Melbourne); and Doctor Ben Sessa, Doctor Charlotte Burck and Doctor Graham Music whose expertise covers systemic therapy, neurological investigation, genetics and drug-based interventions.

Creators: David Woods & Jon Haynes  Performers: Ben Grant, Nicola Gunn, Jon Haynes, David Woods

The Eradication of Schizophrenia in Western Lapland
Arts House – Meat Market, 5 Blackwood Street, North Melbourne
Season: 12 – 16 November 2014
Bookings: (03) 9322 3713 or online at:

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Image: courtesy of Ridiculusmus