A COMEDY performer will be bringing to Colchester a one-woman show on her personal experience of being in a relationship with a compulsive gambler.

Co-creator Hannah Walker will be heading to the Mercury Theatre on March 22 in a production which aims to lift the “glittery curtain of jackpots and big wins” to explore the complexities of gambling addiction and the effects it has on individuals and their loved ones.

Each performance of ‘Gamble’, which is described as “bittersweet multimedia theatre production, will be followed by a post-show discussion with Dr Matthew Gaskell, Clinical Lead and Consultant Psychologist for the NHS Northern Gambling Service.

Also, after the morning each show including in Colchester, there will be coffee and cake ‘change-making’ events where people can share their experiences of gambling in a safe space and discuss the issue of how local authorities can support those affected by gambling addiction. 

Gazette: Accessible - Hannah Walker (Left) with BSL interpreter Faye AlviAccessible - Hannah Walker (Left) with BSL interpreter Faye Alvi (Image: Andrew Moore)

Co-creator and performer Hannah Walker said: “This is a significant national issue and it’s not going away”.

“There is still a huge taboo around gambling and compulsive gamblers often feel deep shame that prevents them from seeking support from friends, family and health professionals. I'm excited to see what we can achieve by taking the show across the country on tour.”

She added: “The Q&A is integral and provides an insightful perspective about addiction and how the gambling industry’s practices fuel it. It’s so important that people understand that compulsive gambling is an addiction; it has nothing to do with someone’s character.”

Hannah Walker also revealed that there was a big reaction to the show from “previews alone” with one audience member donating £50,000 to the NHS Northern Gambling Service.

‘Gamble’ will start at 8pm on March, 22 with references to mental health conditions and suicide being made.

The show will last about 60 minutes with no interval and this will be then followed by a 45-mimute post-show discussion with Dr Matt Gaskell.

Tickets will cost £12 which can be purchased here, to find out more about Hannah Walker’s campaign visit here, and to find out where to get help for gambling addiction visit here.