Chris, a 19-year-old third-year college student, will be staging Laments with the Lonely at Worthing College on June 28 starting at 6pm. Tickets are £11 and are available online through the TicketTailor website: www.tickettailor.com/events/chrispelling/704319/
“I wrote the book, music and lyrics myself and wrote it during the past year at college,” says Chris who is promising “an engaging piece of LGBTQ+ musical theatre, centralising topics of mental health and expectations in adulthood.”
“It came to me back in 2019. I had a lot of anxiety about becoming an adult. I was in my first year of college and I felt there was a lot of pressure about growing up and I just wanted to channel that. The way I was experiencing my adulthood was that there were a lot of pressures and milestones that were very implicit especially as a queer man. I felt very pressurised to subdue my sexuality in the workplace and in a lot of places where I would not feel welcome.”
Chris, who plays Clark in the piece, added: “The monster under the bed represented my inner childhood, my past and I feel like anybody can relate to that. It's a nice clean metaphor when it is almost like you are leaving your younger self behind. But the monster doesn't want to be left behind. I feel it's a very interesting perspective on exploring the conflict between growing up and staying the same.
“I feel a very strong sense of catharsis through writing this, exploring my past and talking to other people and seeing how they felt growing up has been for them. I feel I am now in a good place. I feel I have grown a lot as this musical has grown with me. I feel I am a lot happier with things. It's a four-cast show. It's very intimate but it is also very much a character study. I am playing Clark and I never intended to play him but as there is lot of me in there, because he is partially me, I felt I wanted to play him though I feel there is a lot more darkness in Clark than in me. He is very insecure. He has a lot of fears and regrets. But it does feel very cathartic to have been writing and thinking about how we can redefine those boundaries and those milestones and how we can feel more comfortable being ourselves. I do feel now a lot more comfortable in my own skin. The show has consumed a lot of my life. I've really put my heart and soul into it and I would love to think that other people will watch it and see what it means in terms of how they could redefine their own boundaries and break down their own barriers. It goes into a very dark place in the second act but it is important that it goes there. It really does not ride a straight line. Mental health is very large in the piece but it does arrive at a resolution. It is not concrete but there is hope.”