Mark Lockyer’s show describing his journey from rising theatre star to inmate of Belmarsh prison via a diagnosis for bipolar disorder opens up the world of mental health and masculinity
To all outward appearances, Mark Lockyer’s life was going brilliantly, back in the mid-1990s. He had just turned 30, and had a burgeoning career as one of Britain’s most successful young actors. He was playing Mercutio in Adrian Noble’s Royal Shakespeare Company production of Romeo And Juliet, among a string of other roles; in 1993, he had even been acclaimed as runner-up in the prestigious Ian Charleson Award for young British actors.
Yet Lockyer was becoming aware that within himself something wasn’t right. “I remember,” he says, “going to visit my mother to tell her about the Ian Charleston nomination, and ending up abusing her in the most terrible way. I apologised of course, and I tried to believe it was just the drink talking – I had been drinking a lot, although not all the time. But inside, this was maybe the first time I began to think,