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Struggling actor David can’t get enough, of anything. Alcohol, drugs, women, gambling – whatever it takes to escape the bark of the black dog. Bouncing from audition to audition as he battles his debilitating mental health issues and descends into a world of addiction, he is consumed by an overwhelming feeling of never belonging anywhere. Days and nights are lived through a thick haze of drugs, alcohol and Shakespeare’s soliloquies. This bender could be his last, but he doesn’t care – there are worse things than death.

Then David is thrown an unlikely lifeline. Finding himself in the mountains of South-East Asia he is offered a chance at redemption – but he will need to confront his inner demons, traumas and secrets long buried.

A powerful work embracing human complexity Breaking The Castle traverses mental illness, addiction, and recovery. Inspired by true events in the life of the playwright, this visceral, fierce, funny, and uplifting tale features a “tour de force” performance from creator Peter Cook as a man yearning for connection.

Through the story of one man the work illuminates the broader struggles of those who live on the edges, and the inequalities in the addiction and recovery cycle in Australia. It highlights the need for men to allow themselves to be vulnerable and seek help when they need it, it celebrates the ability of the human spirit to prevail through the darkest of journeys and is ultimately an uplifting story of redemption.

In its writing, performance, and production, this is an ode to the theatre and underscores the importance the arts play in overcoming tragedy. It is a comedy-drama about a human being human, resonating with audiences from all backgrounds as it cuts across race, gender and class.

Ice use and Men's mental health

“Australia has the highest rate of amphetamine dependence in the world and ... the highest rate of all-cause deaths associated with amphetamine dependence.”

“Current laws allow us tacit permission to turn a blind eye to the factors driving most problematic drug use. These include childhood abuse, domestic violence and mental illness”.

DAN HOWARD, Commissioner for The Special Commission of Inquiry into the Drug ‘Ice’

Breaking the Castle is a raw and honest portrayal of one man’s descent into the hell of Ice addiction.

Ice is a drug that is used across Australia and in all population demographics. The play mirrors Dan Howard's comments, as it explores how childhood trauma and mental illness play a key role in addiction, especially Ice addiction.

Breaking the Castle is a commentary on the problematic nature of recovery and rehabilitation in Australia and the existing barriers to rehabilitation treatment.

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