Published: 25/09/2011 17:00 - Updated: 23/09/2011 12:17

Highland arts and film festival will take a positive stance on mental health

THE Highlands will boast a programme of events as part of next month’s Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival.

The festival, which has become one of Scotland’s most valued cultural events, continues to grow in the Highlands with a wider range of events and locations involving individuals, charities and organisations passionate about mental health and the arts.

With an event to suit every age and taste, from fashion shows and puppet workshops to creative writing and films, the festival aims to appeal to audiences across the Highlands, from Wick to Portree to Inverness.

The festival takes a positive stance on mental health, celebrating artistic endeavour by those with experience of mental health issues and connecting audiences with creative and innovative work.

As well as supporting new work from the Highlands, the festival brings art and performance from across Scotland to tour in less obvious locations. One such event is the play, Six and a Tanner, starring David Hayman (best known for playing DCS Michael Walker in ITV’s Trial and Retribution) which will tour the Highlands between a successful season in the West End and crossing the Atlantic for an off-Broadway show.

The play, written by actor Rony Bridges, will be performed at Inverness Prison as well as venues in Drumnadrochit and Strathpeffer.

Returning to the festival schedule after their successes last year are Skye and Lochalsh-based Rag Tag ’n’ Textile with a new fashion show, this year themed on James Bond, and Zenwing Puppets with its workshop Inside My Head.

Festival co-ordinator Keith Walker said: "If you go along to one of our events you can expect to be entertained and inspired. There is something for everybody and plenty to get people thinking and talking about mental health."

The festival runs from October 1 to 20. Full details of events can be found on the festival website – – and brochures can be found at Highland libraries.

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