Comedienne uses personal story to raise awareness...
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Apr 09, 2014  |  Vote 0    0

Comedienne uses personal story to raise awareness of mental health

Hamilton Mountain News

Comedienne extraordinaire Shelley Marshall is back, unfiltered and raising awareness for mental health through honesty turned into art.

Marshall recently acknowledged the 12 anniversary since her suicide attempt. Her husband, who walked in on her, called for help and managed to hold onto her body and, as fate has its magical way of working, the cord that was wrapped around her neck snapped.

This was her lowest point of her life and one that would later inspire material for her play ‘Hold Mommy’s Cigarette’ which she will perform at The Pearl Company from April 10-19.

Marshall says has a long history of mental illness in her family and her life has been marked with many trials and tribulations yet somehow, she has managed to rise above and turn the depths of her sadness into tremendous success.

This story and many other stories that tend to go untold shows the magnitude of the importance of bringing awareness to mental health illness. Depression is as dangerous a disease as any, she says.

“I knew creating works of art that expressed my experience, my truth, and my understanding, were what would bring a joyful purpose to my life” says Marshall. “I feel I not only have an opportunity, but an obligation, to convey a message that can help people heal.”

Native to Hamilton — she attended Hillsdale, Hillcrest, Scott Park and Glendale while growing up — Marshall brought home gold in the category of “Best Theatre Production” for Hold Mommy’s Cigarette in 2013, was named “Best New Discovery” by Now Magazine, nominated “Best Female Stand Up” in Canada by the Canadian Comedy Awards and has hosted the popular, televised Hamilton Music Awards for the past four years.

Hold Mommy’s Cigarette runs April 10-13 and 18-19 at 9 p.m. There is a matinee April 13 at 2 p.m. The Pearl Company is located at 16 Steven St. Tickets and information: 905-524-0606 or

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