An autobiographical comedy challenging stigma around mental health is coming to Bishop Auckland next week.

Declaration, created by theatre company Art with Heart, follows performer Sarah Emmott’s journey from childhood to present day, offering a rare insight into how ADHD impacts at different stages of a person’s life.

Sarah says she always felt ‘different’ as a child but struggled to get diagnosed as an adult in her 30s and now wants to use her story to both encourage debate as well as celebrating the positives around ADHD.

“It’s difficult talking about my mental health so publicly to people I’ve never met because it’s not something that is in the past for me, it’s ongoing,” she said.

“But it’s exciting to meet new people and share my story with them. Often people think ADHD is just a small boy running around a supermarket shouting, but it’s also a woman in her 30s desperately trying to get to work on time. There are also plenty of positives like the ability to make connections really fast and having plenty of energy!”

The show, which comes to Bishop Auckland Town Hall on Wednesday, 28 June, promises to take the audience on a colourful and candid exploration of ADHD and mental health – but also to make people laugh at the same time.

“Hopefully Declaration will encourage people to talk, but also to laugh, because when we’re celebrating the positives, the energy and the curiosity, there’s nothing better than laughing out loud with an audience,” said Sarah.

“So far, we’ve had a lot of laughter and lots of people have told me that it has helped them articulate what ADHD is and how mental health can affect you.”

Sarah, who was shortlisted for Best Actress in a Studio Production in the Manchester Theatre Awards in 2016, is also looking forward to a return to Bishop Auckland.

“I’ve been before to the food festival and fell in love with it! It’s a really friendly place and I’m really excited to be coming back with my own story to share with people,” she said.

Audiences are invited to choose how much they pay for the performance, which takes place on Wednesday, 28 June at 7.30pm. To reserve a ticket, call Bishop Auckland Town Hall box office on 03000 269 524 and payment can be made after the show.