A Place Called Happiness

A Place Called Happiness publicity 2Debs spent a year thinking about happiness. It brought her down. 


‘A Place Called Happiness’ was a year in the making and is Debs’ response to society’s seeming obsession with happiness. Debs began an experiment to discover the secrets of ‘How to be Happy’ and found herself drowning in a sea of self-help – and it wasn’t helping.

She needed to drag herself off the sofa of apathy so started to say yes to things, anything, to get her out into the world – dots on the globe, unknown and unsystematic choices. The situations she found herself in challenged her thoughts on happiness and ultimately gave her hope.

‘A Place Called Happiness’ is an honest and real, funny and engaging show filled with stories and secrets shared, as Debs takes you on her journey off the sofa into the world in the pursuit of something called happiness.

Press Coverage

“Debs Gatenby’s show A Place Called Happiness helps us through the rambling, non-linear journey that is your typical human life.”  Nicola Mostyn – Big Issue North
debsgatenby.co.uk/2016/02/02/being-human-show-previewed-in-big-issue-north/

“The first show I’ve seen in a long time where I thought ‘Oooh I right ruddy enjoyed that’. From the moment Gatenby tiptoed on stage wearing a bright yellow poncho, clutching a fishing net and bucket, she had us. A fabulous physical performer and an expert at the throwaway comment, Gatenby is just funny. But though the laughter was pretty much constant, what Gatenby delivered was heartfelt. It felt genuine as she guided us through her quirky journey to enlightenment with delightful storytelling.”
canal-st.co.uk/Box-office/canal-st-reviews/a-place-like-happiness-by-debs-gatenby

Audience Feedback

“Debs makes you rethink whether happiness is really the best thing there is. And then makes you realize, oh it’s feelings that are valuable. With cleverness, warmth and wit (her off the cuff second thoughts are worth many visits to the same show) you’ll leave feeling very moved – that is, with a big knot of emotions, including happiness. And admittedly some sadness because it’s hard to leave Debs’ orbit once you’re in it.”

“I travelled a long way to be here, and didn’t regret it.”

“Brilliantly creative. Innovative. Hilarious. Debs is an extremely funny observer of life, really, really enjoyed it.”

“Humorous and thought-provoking, moving and all-encompassing.”

“This is what theatre should be.”

“Had such a fabulous night and not laughed that much in ages.”

“Will Debs ever believe she’s brilliant? This show says she is.”

@ciaratansey. “Just seen ‪@debsgatenby and it is filled me with all the feels. What a fantastic woman.”

@TheRachelMorris “‪@debsgatenby‪ awesome show. Touching and hilarious. @ContactMcr xxx”

@AshleeCox_ “‪@debsgatenby‪ ‘A place called Happiness’ made me laugh, made me cry, made me feel hopeful.


Commissioned by Contact.
Made with support from Arts Council England, the Albany London and Hub Leeds.

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