Butterfly Man

A couple of years ago I met a man called Dr. Mike Edwards at a dinner party. Mike is a climate change advisor and lecturer in global crisis, and I was so compelled by one of the stories he told round the table I asked him to write it into an essay, which later appeared in the fourth Dark Mountain book. Now that story has metamorphosed again into a play called Butterfly Man, scripted by me and co-directed by Caroline Hunt and Dan Jones – it's playing in Bristol's Tobacco Factory Theatre as part of this year's Mayfest.

Butterfly Man tells the story of Ben, who fell in love with butterflies as a child. But when the wood behind his home was felled the butterflies disappeared, with profound implications for his mental health. Psychiatric treatment helps him ‘cope’ with severe depression – but should we really be medicating the ones who cry when a butterfly dies?

You can read more about the play in this short interview I did. There are performances on May 23rd and 24th, and tickets are available here. Psychiatry, mental health and species loss in the Sixth Extinction – this play is a journey into some really important stuff, too often told badly. I believe we're telling it well. If you can, please come!

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