Human Issue is a 60 minute one man metal theatrical play, written by Dean Moynihan & performed by Mark Savage as Frank, an unemployed stand up comedian who’s experiencing issues at a stage in his life that puts him in a high risk of the most common cause of death in men in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, straddling beyond borders of the UK.
As Frank sits alone in his empty flat, after the bailiffs have repossessed almost everything he owns, an inconspicuous noose hangs as Frank talks to the audience as part monologue, part stand up comedy routine with a dark acerbic philosophical wit, in this poignant and personal exploration of an important and sensitive subject,as he contemplates becoming yet another anonymous statistic.
He’s not happy about it & he has one or two important things he’d like to say.
As Frank finds his voice to articulate his thoughts, feelings & mental distress, he explains that he’d like the story to unfold in a linear way.
But unfortunately, his mind doesn’t work like that, as Frank takes us on a journey, carefully picking a path through the chaotic minefield of tangents he goes off on, as he tells his story of how he reached this unfortunate place in his life.
Comparing his current situation with some unachievable perceived goal or standard, set by cultural masculine expectations, and having a lack of goal re-engagement, he displays a lack of positive thoughts about the future.
Believing that the future holds nothing good for him. Causing him to feel socially disconnected and isolated.
Believing that he has become a hindrance or burden to others as he misses his dependence on a female partner for emotional support, and because of his relationship breakdown, he suffers this loss acutely. As he describes dating experiences with dark humour.
Frank uses his dark philosophical wit as a coping mechanism as he states that he’s a self pitying narcissist, with a huge ego & very low self esteem and it’s a dangerous combination.
Frank is struggling to cope with major social, personal & professional life changes, as he finds himself part of the so-called ‘buffer’ generation, caught between the older, more traditional, strong, silent, austere generation of his elders & the younger, more progressive open individualistic younger generation.
Frank’s cultural viewpoint makes him reluctant to talk about his emotions, while he identifies the risks of not talking about feelings and the challenges in how to encourage this to happen without alienating men like him, while still communicating in a way that makes sense for them, emphasising the importance of encouraging men to raise emotional difficulties.
This is a story of hope, a celebration of the tenacious nature of humanity and ultimately educational with a blackly comic and painfully clever approach to a subject, like the title suggests, is a human issue that we should all be talking more about.