Can I Help You? at Omnibus Theatre

London theatre news: Tuesday 18 February 2020

Off-West End

Playing ON will present the world premiere of Can I Help You? at Clapham's Omnibus Theatre next month, bringing to life their late co-founder's final play.
Can I Help You? at Omnibus Theatre

Image courtesy Omnibus Theatre

Playing ON will present the world premiere of Philip Osment's Can I Help You? at Omnibus Theatre, bringing to life their late co-founder's final play.

The show will be at Omnibus from 3 to 21 March 2020.

Drawn from their community mental health programmes, the piece is partly inspired by characters created by service users and clinicians in a six-week theatre engagement programme with East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT) and Theatre Royal Stratford East, as well as several interviews with members of the Ghanaian community.

Playing ON looks to marry professional theatre and socially engaged practise, using theatre as a method for the powerless and the powerful to explore common issues and find insight into the other's perspective.

Susan Aderin (Guerrilla, Sky Atlantic; Peer Gynt, National Theatre) will appear as Fifi alongside Gabriel Vick (Les Misérables, BBC; Once, West End) as Francis in this poetic and uplifting examination of how race and gender intersect with issues of mental health.

Director Jim Pope said ...

"The most precious thing Philip gave to me was the understanding that the real way to engage a group is to listen, respect, honour who they are and treat their offerings as precious gifts.

This leads to trust and the permission to interpret, challenge, question, and makes stories.

Philip was a teacher, mentor, therapist and so many other things to me; he was a friend.

His practise is the bedrock of our work which I take forward into every creative space we enter."

Playing ON will also host wraparound workshops and events across the run including an NHS night, panel discussions and an evening celebration of Philip Osment's work.

Can I Help You? will be embarking on a community tour to take the work to the very people whose stories are represented in the play.

This February it will go to Dragon Café - the flagship project of Mental Fight Club, We are Spotlight - a creative youth service, St Pancras Hospital, and Blackfriars Settlement - a community services centre.

Show listing information


Bringing to life Philip Osment's final play, Can I Help You? is a magical realist examination of the role race and gender have to play in mental health and suicide.

An off-duty English policeman is about to throw himself off Beachy Head when he is met by a Ghanaian woman carrying a laundry bag and a cat box.

Over the course of one night, two disparate characters learn what it truly means to be touched by the magic of hope.

Join Playing ON at one of the many wraparound workshops and events across the run. From pre and post show workshops to NHS night, from panel discussions to an evening celebration of Philip's Osment's work, there is an event for everyone. 


Fifi - Susan Aderin

Francis - Gabriel Vick


Author: Philip Osment
Director: Jim Pope
Designer: Susan Mayes
Lighting: Ian Scott
Sound: Max Pappenheim
Dramaturg: Lin Coghlan
Production: Playing On; Rhian Davies


Omnibus Theatre
1 Clapham Common Northside


From: Tuesday 3 March 2020

Closed: Saturday 21 March 2020


Previews: £10

Standard: £16

Concessions: £13

Links for this news item

Show website
ActDrop full listing for Can I Help You?

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