Tim Rhys-Evans and Elin Manahan Thomas to close Welsh mental health arts festival

The organisers of Walls : Muriau, the 2016 Welsh mental health arts festival, are thrilled to announce that Tim Rhys-Evans MBE, the Welsh conductor who is best known as the founder and music director of the choirs Only Men Aloud and Only Boys Aloud, will be leading an evening recital lecture, to close the event on Thursday 24th November.

Tim will be accompanied by Welsh soprano Elin Manahan Thomas for a performance of music from well known composers, over the years, who were known to have personal experience of mental ill health.

This special event will take place at the Weston Studio, Wales Millennium Centre, as part of a double header with Elaine Paton's Momentos of Leaving.

Earlier this year, Tim featured in a BBC documentary ‘All In The Mind’, where he shared his personal experience of mental illness. A few years ago, Tim's career was on a high - his choir Only Men Aloud won Last Choir Standing, they signed a major record deal and Tim was awarded an MBE by the Queen. But internally he was struggling to survive - he had a serious mental health crisis and had to rebuild his life. In this moving and heartfelt film, Tim revealed what happened to him with the aim of helping others going through similar experiences.

Tim Rhys Evan in a nice black and white image, wearing a shiny jacket and looking straight down into the camera
© Llinos Williams

Tim will now be bringing his talent and experiences to the Welsh mental health arts festival.

Mark Smith, Co-founder, Welsh mental health arts festival said:

“Naturally, we’re delighted to have Tim and Elin join us to bring the curtain down on this year’s festival. This is only our second year, so to have popular artists of such a high calibre is very special indeed. Tim is a great example of someone who has shown the benefits of talking about mental health and raising awareness to a wider audience. We’re excited to see how he will couple his personal experiences with his love and knowledge of music, to get people thinking about mental health in a way they might not have experienced before.”

Organised by Disability Arts Cymru, Ynys Môn a Gwynedd Mind and Making Minds, the festival has seen a number of events take place, around Wales, during October, with more to come in November.

Funded by the Arts Council of Wales, Royal College of Psychiatrists in Wales, National Centre for Mental Health / MRC Centre (Cardiff University) and Voluntary Arts Wales, the festival will:


  • Celebrate the relationship between the arts and mental health
  • Educate, reduce stigma and challenge perceptions around mental health
  • Increase access to/involvement in the arts for those experiencing mental ill health
  • Provide a platform and raise the profile of emerging and established artists living with mental illness
  • Raise awareness of the health benefits of participating in the arts

The theme of this year’s festival is ‘Walls:Muriau’. Out of the creative minds of those with and without lived experience of mental ill health, the festival will explore the walls put up and the barriers, both physical and attitudinal, that exist for those affected by mental illness.


Get Your Tickets

Tickets for the Tim Rhys-Evans event are £12, with concessions at £8. Tickets are available from the Wales Millennium Centre box office, website and by calling 029 2063 6464. The evening's entertainment will get underway at 6pm - don't miss it!

One of Tim’s choirs, Only Boys Aloud, will also be performing at the festival, on the Glanfa stage, Wales Millennium Centre on Monday 21st November at 6pm. In fact, the festival is running a series of events at the WMC between 21st -24th November. See the Wales Millennium Centre Events page for more information.

The festival website is available at mhaf.wales. You can also find the festival on Facebook at facebook.com/wallsmuriau and on Twitter @wallsmuriau2016, with the hashtag #wmhaf16.

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