TJohn Voce and Grant Piro will perform at Naracoorte Town Hall next week when mental health play Carpe Diem comes to town.

Men's mental health focus of stage play

Two well-known actors will grace the stage at the Naracoorte Town Hall next week when mental health play Carpe Diem comes to town.

Starring John Voce, who some may recognize from Downton Abbey, Dr Who and Miranda and Grant Piro, known for his work on Seachange, Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries and Escape to Pretoria, Carpe Diem is a contemporary portrayal of Australian males, dealing with issues of health, grief, loss and depression.

Voce said the play had been well-received by their audiences, and had helped to open up a dialogue to discuss mental health.

"It's not easy, it's not an easy project to deliver. It's highly charged it's very emotional and the spontaneous reactions that we've had have been incredible," he said.

"It's a real issue and the audiences that we have met so far have proven that our message is not falling on deaf ears, our message has an audience who are in emotional trouble

"Our little production can be the beginning of a conversation or a bit of an eye opener for people. We are talking about things that people don't want to talk about - we are talking about suicide, we are talking about depression, we are talking about divorce.

"It's not all bleak, a lot of it is very very funny, but these are subjects that men need to talk about because we don't talk about them enough."

Set in a fictional town in inland Australia, Carpe Diem portrays the friendship of Nev, a hard working farmer, and John his stock agent friend. Both, have been impacted by the long running drought, and are each suffering their own personal crisis.

Carpe Diem is a didactic comedy that delivers the mental health messages in a way that is entertaining, immediate and highly relevant.

Written by playwright Megan Rigoni, the play was first inspired by the experiences of people she knew.

Touring in regional Australia can be tough, but Piro said he had enjoyed the experience so far.

"It is quite romantic - some of the community halls we have played in are absolutely beautiful, and the people that we meet are not traditional theatre people, they are community people,' he said/

"The whole experience has been glorious, it's an eye-opener. There is a lot of Australia out there and when you live the city you tend to forget how much of Australia there is."

Carpe Diem will be appearing in the Naracoorte Town Hall at 7.30pm on Wednesday, March 31, following a BBQ at 6.30pm.

Bookings are essential, Phone 8762 1399 to book.