PQA Venues @ Riddle's Court, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
In 2014 following the death of her father, anarchist Samantha Pressdee was hospitalised due to a mental breakdown, spending 2 days in a police cell for her own safety until a bed became available on the NHS. Austerity seemed invisible, until it bounced her off a non-padded wall. The journey through the welfare system was a rough ride and getting mental health needs met in austerity Britain felt like a game of Russian roulette. Directed by Phil Nicol, Covered is Samantha’s story of resilience promoting compassion over schadenfreude because this time, it’s her vulnerability rather than her chest that is laid bare. Covered is about her journey back to sanity, following a long battle with the state to get her needs met and challenges with social stigma, trolling, stalking and further brushes with the police. Samantha Pressdee is now covered, but in the current economic climate not everyone will be. People are still fighting for their benefits, their homes and their human dignity. Is austerity saving money or costing lives? Samantha Pressdee: Covered runs from Fri 2 - Mon 26 August at PQA Venues after a 4-night preview at the Brighton Fringe on Fri 3 - Sat 4 May & Sat 1 - Sun 2 June.
‘The most endearing political activist I have ever met.’ Kate Copstick
Thanks to the foundation of a strong social support network and a comfortable home in the Black Country, where she lives with her pet rescue dog, Samantha Pressdee is Covered. 5 years since her hospitalisation she has managed to avoid further manic or depressive episodes but still occasionally struggles with anxiety. After the United Nations poverty envoy reports austerity has fallen disproportionately on vulnerable groups including the disabled, Samantha is acutely aware than not everyone is lucky enough to get their welfare needs met, the fight continues, and she’s inviting you to join her.
‘Excellent storytelling and very funny’ ★★★★ One4Review
‘Hits a rich vein of dark humour, nicely crafted jokes with sharp timing.’ The Times
Covered is directed by Phil Nicol, and is part of a wider mental health project Pulling it Together Blogs, podcasts and a booklet will feature contributions from fellow artists with mental health issues including Laura Lexx, Juliette Burton and Dave Chawner. As well as interviews with local women who guided Samantha’s mental health recovery like Nutritionist Michelle and Life Coach Andrea. More can be done to support vulnerable people on the fringes of society. This show is a call to action. Samantha Pressdee exploded into public consciousness in 2016, blue haired and bare breasted as a #FreeTheNipple activist. Her 2016 show Sextremist exploring female sexuality and body equality was performed topless in support of the campaign. All of her shows have been written from personal experience with a political theme. Back 2 Basics in 2017 advocated for an Unconditional Basic Income and chronicled her journey into activism via the 7 month campaign to save a social housing estate in London Sweets Way Resists’.
‘A lot of comedians talk the talk when it comes to demanding social change, but Samantha Pressdee walks the walk.’
Steve Bennett, Chortle