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Rory O'Callaghan
Rory on stage at Southwark Playhouse

RECOVERIST THEATRE PROJECT: CASE STUDY - RORY O'CALLAGHAN

03/03/24

'I believe it is a great project which gives confidence to people who are in recovery. The group is something that I will never forget and I hope it leads to something else for me in the future'. Rory O'Callaghan

'My name is Rory O'Callaghan. I currently live in North London, having grown up South of the river. I got into a lot of trouble when I was younger around theft and office burglary but turned my life around when I became a dad 19 years ago (I have three daughters). When I split up with the mother of my kids eight years ago, I started drinking heavily and started getting into trouble again. I feel very lucky to be alive and that I don't have an addiction to drugs. Three years ago, I gave up alcohol and haven't touched it since. In that time, I have got custody of my three daughters, wrote a book about my past life that I released on Amazon, became a peer mentor and done many other things that I'm proud of such as regular long distance running, (I'm currently training for my second full marathon). One of the professionals at Better Lives rehabilitation centre, where I became a peer mentor and was teaching a woman how to read and write, approached me and told me about the acting group. I was very apprehensive at first as I suffer with anxiety, I believe it was brought on by many years of cannabis use (I was very confident when I was younger). She explained that It wasn't just acting and that I could get a chance at writing so I agreed and it turned out to be one of the best things that I have ever done'.

 

'On the day of the final play that we performed at the Southwark Playhouse, I was completely nervous. Once it started, all the nerves went out of the window and I went into automatic mode. When it was over, I was elated and wanted to do it again. Because of my anxiety issues, I'm very proud that I didn't pull out and I believe I learned something about life and how we have to grab every opportunity given to us. I'm just waiting for the next opportunity to come my way and I will grab it with both hands. I would love to try writing a play too as the group has given me a love of the theatre'.

 

'I joined the project because I thought it would be a great way to get out of the house and meet people. I had just moved to North London two years before and had spent most of that at home because of lockdown. I found out about the project from one of the professional workers at Better Lives rehabilitation centre. I went into the project hoping I would learn something about writing drama having written my own book and wanting to continue writing in some capacity. I was told that there would be all sorts of opportunities offered at the project, not just acting and I was intrigued. I wasn't disappointed. Being involved in the project gave me some structure. It also made me feel like I was working towards something. All other facilitators at the group were amazing and so supportive. The project had an amazing impact on me. Suffering with anxiety can make me very apprehensive about signing up to things that will make me feel uncomfortable. Having completed the course, it has taught me to just go for it. It taught me a lot about myself and about over thinking things. Since completing the course, I have had a desire to get involved with theatre or entertainment in some capacity. The whole project had an amazing effect on me and overall. I would jump at the chance to do it again'.