WILDCARD Theatre make their York Theatre Royal Studio debut with James Meteyard's gig theatre show Electrolyte on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Further Yorkshire performances of this 70-minute fusion of live music and storytelling follow in The Round at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, on June 6 and 7, Selby Town Hall on June 10 and The Carriageworks, Leeds, on June 12.

Directed by Olivier award-winning director Donnacadh O’Briain, Meteyard's exploration of grief, depression and psychosis tells the story of Jessie, from Leeds, in the aftermath of her father's suicide.

When she meets singer-songwriter Allie Touch, who is pursuing her music career in London, she feels inspired to leave behind her oppressive life in West Yorkshire. Impulsively, she follows Allie to London in pursuit of her mother, who left when she was young. However, when she arrives in the Big Smoke, things are not as shiny as they first seemed, while the answers she seeks are buried deeper than she could ever have imagined."

Introducing Electrolyte, Meteyard says: "Jessie's sick of Leeds, a city she thought she would never leave, but the aimlessness of the people she once believed she would always need is suffocating.

"Wondering whether she's had enough, in a dirty nightclub not too far off, Jessie's blinded by the light of Allie Touch, a singer/songwriter with a taste for big ambition, amongst some other stuff.

"Feeling rough in the five in the morning half light, Jessie's sight is fixed on the path that Allie writes, and like a moth to a flame in the night she ignites."

Meteyard's show is written entirely in spoken-word poetry and is underscored throughout by six actor-musicians, Megan Ashley, Chris Georgiou, Ben Simon, Robyn Sinclair, Olivia Sweeney and Meteyard himself, performing music by composer and lyricist Maimuna Memon.

London company Wildcard are mounting their tour, taking in 32 British and Irish venues across, after an award-winning run at last summer’s Edinburgh Fringe, where the company scooped the Mental Health Fringe Award and the Pleasance Best Newcomer Award, among five awards in all.

"We’re thrilled to be coming to York, Scarborough, Selby and Leeds," says Meteyard, Wildcard's joint artistic director. "When we founded the company in 2015 while still studying at the Oxford School of Drama, we had big dreams of taking our work to the regions and we’re beside ourselves that these dreams are becoming a reality.

"Mental health is rightfully becoming something that's acceptable to talk about and we’re delighted to be part of the conversation.This show deals with tough subjects but has an uplifting message; we want to help people around the UK and Ireland to know that it’s OK not to be OK and promote the importance of community in combating poor mental health."

Andrew Eaton-Lewis, Arts Lead for the Mental Health Foundation, says: "Electrolyte was a clear favourite among our panel of award judges; it's an exhilarating, inspirational show that tackles a very difficult subject with great sensitivity. We're

supporting Electrolyte's tour dates and are delighted that they'll be helping to raise money for the Mental Health Foundation in its 70th anniversary year."

Looking forward to the Selby date, Selby Town Council's arts officer, Chris Jones, says: "I’ve been up to the Edinburgh Fringe for 12 consecutive years and seen over 400 shows, and of all of those, Electrolyte was the very best.

"It’s an extraordinary piece of gig theatre: performed in spoken-word poetry with a stunning six-strong cast of multi-instrumentalists who underscore the story with a constant, incredibly diverse soundtrack, from tender acoustic songs to brooding hip hop and pounding electronica.

"Set in Leeds, it’s a gripping tale of a young woman with a difficult upbringing and huge emotional challenges facing tough life decisions against a background of mental ill health, but all the while surrounded by a strong group of friends. Gritty, visceral, vital, it sits somewhere between Shane Meadows' This Is England and a Kate Tempest album."

Jones continues: "This thrilling sensory ride is a rollercoaster of emotions aimed at people from late teens to early 30s, which isn't Selby Town Hall's usual demographic for theatre, so drumming up an audience could be a bit of an uphill struggle, especially as it’s during exam season, but I genuinely think it will be a really transformative theatre experience for younger audiences.

"At times it’s a difficult watch, but Electrolyte is ultimately incredibly uplifting and an important part of conversations around mental health that are thankfully now happening a lot more freely. I can’t recommend this show highly enough: it’s like nothing we’ve ever put on here before and I’m over the moon that we’ve managed to secure a date."

Wildcard Theatre in Electrolyte, York Theatre Royal Studio, June 4 and 5, 7.45pm; Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, June 6 and 7, 7.30pm; Selby Town Hall, June 10, 8pm; The Carriageworks, Leeds, June 12, 7.30pm. Box office: York, 01904 623568 or at yorktheatreroyal.co.uk; Scarborough, 01723 370541 or sjt.uk.com; Selby, 01757 708449 or selbytownhall.co.uk, Leeds, 0113 376 0318 or carriageworkstheatre.co.uk.

Charles Hutchinson