How to be an ultimate warrior
North East actor, playwright and wrestling fan Wayne Miller is using his new play, Being an Ultimate Warrior, to tackle mental health issues. It’s based on Miller’s life as he grew up, shedding light on many real life struggles such as alcoholism, bullying and depression.
“I have struggled with depression in my life,” he said, “and only a few people I have let close have known that. It was something I always wanted to keep secret, for fear of people thinking the worst of me or just thinking I needed to ‘cheer up’ as there was nothing wrong with me. So writing this piece was my way of talking about it in an indirect way.”
Mental health, he believes, is still something that does not get talked about enough and still considered by many to be a taboo subject. So with Being an Ultimate Warrior, Miller aims to battle against that and show it can be talked about.
Central character Karl is a life-long wrestling fan struggling with a life-changing event. To help himself, he looks back through his life as he grew up watching the in-ring battles, whilst dealing with real life battles. There are both laughter and tears and his journey reveals what it takes to be a real Ultimate Warrior.
The play previewed at The Customs House in South Shields in October last year and was well received so, after some reworking and rewriting, it will now visit other North East venues this September and October:
- 30 September
Theatre Space NE, Sunderland
- 7 October
The Exchange, North Shields
- 20 October
Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle