Photo: Lizzie Coombes


Pick Me Up (& hold me tight)

Pick Me Up (& hold me tight) is an invitation for collective listening, experienced through public pay-phones across Leeds.

Through an invitation to answer a public pay phone, Pick Me Up (& hold me tight) is a mass act of contemplation about the relationship between mental health and modern life.

Created by award-winning theatre and digital art company ZU-UK in response to rising suicide rates across the country, Pick Me Up (& hold me tight) is an audio event where every phone box in Leeds rings at the same time.

Pick up the phone to participate in a gentle but thought-provoking audio experience that explores contemporary loneliness, and exposes the edges of our humanness. It’s an invitation to pause, take stock, and explore what kind of listeners we are.

At a time when suicide is the most common cause of death for men in Britain aged 20-49 and 1 in 4 people are affected by mental health issues at some point in their lives, Pick Me Up (& hold me tight) offers an opportunity to reflect, remember and gather.

It has become more important than ever to listen. Pick Me Up (& hold me tight) is a chance to reflect on changes in the fabric of our communities, the shrinking of public space and the innate power of listening – on an ambitious yet intimate scale.

Pick Me Up (& hold me tight) by ZU UK. Commissioned by Compass Festival.

Many thanks to Mind in Camden for their support in the creation of the pilot of this project, the crowdfunders who made the research and development possible and to our team of volunteers who helped audit all the telephone boxes in Leeds.

Your local phone box needs you! We’re gathering information about the public phones of Leeds and we need your help. Nominate your local phone box to be a part of the project by paying it a visit and following this link:

Nominate your local box

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