In her prizewinning play, Kendall Feaver charts the relationship between a young woman with mental health problems and her mother

When Kendall Feaver was going through her old school reports, certain phrases stood out: “dominates play”, “bossy”, “attention seeking”. The negativity of the language shocked the Australian playwright. “You could flip that and say ‘leadership potential’ or ‘vivid imagination’.” But, she believes: “If you’re going to be a playwright, or pursue any kind of creative career, you need to switch off all those negative voices.”

Her debut play took her five years to write. The Almighty Sometimes, which opens at Manchester’s Royal Exchange in February, charts the relationship between a mother and a daughter (played by Julie Hesmondhalgh and Norah Lopez Holden) and the emotional toll of growing up and leaving home. The daughter, Anna, is diagnosed with a mental health condition and “has lived with a label for most of her life”. As well as the usual questions that adolescents ask themselves, Anna wonders: How much of me is me? How much is my medication? The mother, on the other hand, has had to make a medical decision on behalf of another person and is left...


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Mental health is a level of psychological well-being, or an absence of a mental disorder; it is the "psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment".