A DARKLY funny account of life with mental health is coming to Caernarfon.

Gods & Kings is on at the Galeri, followed by a discussion on the topics raised on Wednesday, October 16.

At 23, Paul walks into a psychiatrist’s office believing he is either a God, or a King.

He leaves with a diagnosis of Bipolar Manic Depression, and facing a life-changing decision: Take the pill and live, or don’t take the pill and die.

Twenty three years later; Gods & Kings draws on Paul Whittaker’s real-life experience to produce an emotionally honest account of what it is to live a life ruled by mental illness.

Written by Paul, and co-directed by Paul Whittaker and Tamsin Griffiths, Gods and Kings is described as a "thought-provoking, powerful, emotional and riveting portrayal of mental illness."

Paul says, “At points, this story is excruciatingly uncomfortable for me to share but on deciding to share my personal life in this way I knew the best way to make it mean something was to keep it authentic.

“There are moments from my life that I still can’t watch when they are portrayed on the stage because they will always be a part of me.

“I know the value in sharing them by the comments that people have made after seeing it. And it’s the brutal honesty that people truly connect to.”

Tamsin said: “We feel like this is a story that a lot of people connect to.

“It allows people to connect with the character in different ways. Even if they don’t understand anything about bipolar, they can empathise or gain an insight into the world of mental illness, and then that opens up a whole breadth of conversation.

“What you get is an insight into what happens after Paul leaves the psychiatrist room with a decision; “Do I take the Lithium, or don’t I take the Lithium?

"What part of me is me, and what part of me is the mental health? And if I take the Lithium, what parts of me will remain and what parts will I lose?

"That’s where it becomes about the dilemma of identity and I think that’s what most people can really identify with.

"Through our lives, we all have those moments where we start to question who we are and our identity and our purpose.”

Integrated British Sign Language is at all performances with a BSL interpreter present.

Post show conversations are held after each performance with the creators and service users Paul & Tamsin, along with panel members from the health and social care sectors.

Audiences are able to to explore the themes of the play in a safe, supported environment. Resources will accompany the production to help connect local people to mental health charities.

According to Dr John Boulton, director of NHS Quality Improvement and Patient Safety/1000 Lives Improvement Service, Public Health Wales.

“Gods and Kings provides a surprising, powerful and important insight into mental health service user experience and is a must-see for anyone with a role, or interest in, mental health."

Tickets are£12/£10. Call Galeri on: 01286 685 222 or seegalericaernarfon.com