HOAX is a cross-media project lead by Ravi Thornton, comprising of a Graphic Novel and a Musical Theatre piece. The Graphic Novel had 10 high profile illustrators. The Musical was Directed by Benji Reid, with Music by Minute Taker. It was developed in Association with Manchester Royal Exchange, supported by Arts Council England and The University of Nottingham
HOAX is based on a poem, titled the same, written by Ravi's younger brother Roabbi - or Rob, as we called him.
The poem was written in 2004, during the several-year-long duration of Rob’s ultimately fatal mental illness schizophrenia. During this period Rob wrote hundreds of poems, often in collaboration with Ravi. The poems were expressions of his varying state of mind – sometimes lucid, sometimes confused – and constitute a very honest portrayal of what it was like for him to suffer the illness in those years. Rob committed suicide in May 2008, aged 31 years.
HOAX is a cross-media project that Ravi wrote to explore this portrayal. The project has two main strands: HOAX My Lonely Heart a musical stage performance, and HOAX Psychosis Blues a graphic novel; with a third strand being academic research into Medical Humanities.
★★★★ 'The brutal truth of the place that the writing stems from, is what makes Hoax so haunting and powerful.' The Public Reviews on My Lonely Heart
'I can’t really convey how important I believe this project to be, spellbinding in its execution, HOAX is not an easy watch, but it is a unique combination of artistic talent giving voice to important, and rarely discussed issues in the context of a compelling narrative.' The Good Review on My Lonely Heart
'a truly astonishing and heart wrenching two hours of action-packed theatre' The Nubian Times on My Lonely Heart
'There is no sugar coating of events here, everything oozes from the page in its raw honesty. Exhaustively powerful, it is set to be a defining story for those not only suffering from mental health issues, or their support network, but also for those ignorant of them as well. HOAX: Psychosis Blues is certainly one of the best graphic novels I’ve read this year' Fiction Stoker on Psychosis Blues
'It’s a beautiful, extremely personal, emotional, touching work, coursing through the contrasting tides of a troubled soul' Forbidden Planet on Psychosis Blues
Shortlisted for The Medicine Unboxed Prize 2014
HOAX premieried in June 2014 at Manchester Royal Exchange, coinciding with the publication of the graphic novel by Ziggy's Wish
HOAX retoured in 2016, produced by Ziggy's Wish. More info on the project website here
Top image © Benji Reid | Bottom image © Bryan Talbot