English Touring Theatre & Sheffield Theatres presents

Reasons To Stay Alive

By Matt Haig
Imagined for the stage by Jonathan Watkins
Text written by April de Angelis

At 24 Matt’s world collapsed under the weight of depression. This is the true story of his journey out of crisis; a profoundly uplifting exploration of living and loving better. The first theatrical adaptation of Matt Haig’s frank and funny bestseller. This play with music and movement, imagined for the stage by Jonathan Watkins, celebrates what it means to be alive.

“It’s wonderful to see a book take on other life forms, especially a form as exciting and radically different as this one. I think this production will provide a fascinating way to look at depression and mental health.” Matt Haig

★★★★★ “One of the most beautiful, moving, smart pieces of theatre I’ve seen in a long while. Funny, moving, and clever… I cannot recommend this highly enough.” – Northern Soul

“A powerful exploration of depression and the very human journey of mental illness… One to add to your list.” – Girl on Film

“It’s a great looking play… The performances are strong… I left the show wanting to return to Haig’s work, and anything that spreads the word about the work of this brilliant author can be no bad thing.” – Big Issue North

“Jonathan Watkins did a fantastic job at representing Matt Haig’s Memoir onstage, his abstract movements contrasted the slow pressures of Haig’s panicked state whilst also adding humour and ’90s pop references throughout… Very good performance from all involved.” – Reviewer Number 9

“Takes the audience on an emotional journey of euphoric highs and crushing lows… The show does a remarkable job of breaking down stereotypes and stigmas about mental health, especially amongst men… Kept the audience hooked throughout.” – aAh! magazine

“By the end I felt like I’d been lifted up as well, the performances were that powerful… At 80 minutes it really did fly by, and wouldn’t life be better if depression went at the same rate?” – The Northern Quota

“If this production helps remove the stigma from depression, it will have done its work… A striking piece of theatre… Theatrically inventive.” – The Guardian

“As an autobiographical 75 minute study on depression, it is certainly informative and intriguing, giving insight into the condition.” – What’s On Stage

“A skilful adaptation of Matt Haig’s bestseller… Genuinely enthralling.” – The Times (behind paywall)

“An adaptation that handles a tricky subject with skill and sensitivity… Connects with its audience.” – The Stage

★★★★★ “The awkward art of creating a good memory play demands both condensation and self-discipline, and both shine through here in what is an astonishing collaborative effort… This is truly landmark theatre… But, here is the little miracle – you emerge hopeful, and enlightened.” – Yorkshire Post

“[An] interesting, funny and moving production… Reasons To Stay Alive is allowed to be sentimental; after all, [Matt] Haig found the reasons.” – Metro

Thu 31 Oct
We are delighted to welcome actor and mental health campaigner, Danny Rahim to chair an informal discussion about Reasons To Stay Alive and about breaking down stigma around men’s mental health. Danny will be joined by speakers from Man About a Dog and We Are Willow, as well as members of the cast.
Running time: approx. 45 mins
This event takes place after the 7.30pm performance

  • Recommended age: 12+
  • Running time: 80 minutes
  • Contains strong language
  • Contains haze, strobe and flashing lights
  • £10 – £24 full / conc. from £5
  • Caption Subtitled performance – Fri 1 Nov, 19:30 provided by John Reevell
  • Audio Described Touch Tour – Sat 2 Nov, 13:00 provided by Jane Ensell from Mind’s Eye Description
  • Audio Described performance – Sat 2 Nov, 14:00 provided by Jane Ensell Mind’s Eye Description