Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


FRINGE '04: Ground Zero - MAD about Pride

Media release
9 January 2004
Ground Zero: MAD about Pride

A world premier. Judd Wilkie (a Wellington character), meets Bob Dylan, travels to Bali and tours also to the interior subconscious world of diverse reality.

Much of the literature around mental health has focused on the victim status of ‘mad’ people. MAD Pride™ on the other hand celebrates madness largely from the perspectives of people labelled with mental illness who refuse to be classed as victims. It asserts the rights of ‘mad’ people without pleading for them, in the belief that we should not push meekly for minor concessions, but instead change the world into a fit place for us to live in.

Mad Pride is set to become the first great civil liberties movement of the new millennium. Over the last century, those asserting their rights and self-determination in the fields of race, gender and sexuality forward made giant strides, but ‘mental health’ issues failed to keep pace. This is set to change.

Madness is as much to do with ‘sex, drugs and rock’n’roll’ than with the “long, echoing corridors” described repeatedly by survivors. And while of course, this is far from being the whole truth, it is mindful of the tactics necessary to implant Mad Pride into public consciousness as a liberation struggle in its own right.

Mad Pride is not about ‘politically correct-ness’. It’s about reclaiming identity from the dishonest caricatures pushed by the media and by anti-mental health groups.

Ground Zero is a multi-media production of music, slide presentation, comedy and poetry. Ground Zero is produced by MAD Pride™ Tickets can be purchased at the door or by tiketeck


Ends (Bio on next page)


“I want to communicate what it is like to live with mental illness and to provoke discussion about how best to support people into mental health,” says Pearson who became involved in the New Zealand mental health sector some years after his own experience of using mental health services.

Pearson has worked as a self employed musician from the mid 1980’s. He toured two shows in the 1990’s, one being a tribute to the songs of Bob Dylan supported by regional arts councils across New Zealand.

Arana’s music single “I’m just a little mad” was written from the perspective of people with mental illness and it received airplay in 2000 on national radio and some commercial stations. He released a piano C.D. of original music in 2003.

He has performed throughout New Zealand, and also in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Gloucester and London.

“One in five New Zealanders will experience mental illness at some time in their lives. So if it’s not you it will be someone you know. My experience and insight may break down barriers of misunderstanding,” says Pearson who used to work for the Mental Health Commission. Currently he is pursuing his creativity through the arts, publishing and training. He is the Australasian coordinator for Mad Pride.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

Legendary Bassist David Friesen Plays Wellington’s Newest Jazz Venue

Friesen is touring New Zealand to promote his latest album Another Time, Another Place, recorded live at Auckland's Creative Jazz Club in 2015. More>>

Howard Davis Review: The Father - Descending Into The Depths of Dementia

Florian Zeller's dazzling drama The Father explores the effects of a deeply unsettling illness that affects 62,000 Kiwis, a number expected to grow to 102,000 by 2030. More>>

Howard Davis Review: Blade Runner Redivivus

When Ridley Scott's innovative, neo-noir, sci-fi flick Blade Runner was originally released in 1982, at a cost of over $45 million, it was a commercial bomb. More>>

14-21 October: New Zealand Improv Festival In Wellington

Imagined curses, Shibuya’s traffic, the apocalypse, and motherhood have little in common, but all these and more serve as inspiration for the eclectic improvised offerings coming to BATS Theatre this October for the annual New Zealand Improv Festival. More>>


Bird Of The Year Off To A Flying Start

The competition asks New Zealanders to vote for their favourite bird in the hopes of raising awareness of the threats they face. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books:
Jenny Abrahamson's John & Charles Enys: Castle Hill Runholders, 1864-1891

This volume will be of interest to a range of readers interested in the South Island high country, New Zealand’s natural environment, and the history of science. More>>