I am a writer, poet, comedian, host, programmer, musician and psychotherapist
“Truly the most indefinable act I have ever seen. I wouldn’t want to have missed it.” Three Weeks
I moved to London when I was 21, escaping Essex life. I sought psychotherapy age 23, I was struggling with intimate relationships, bulimia, drugs and had been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Psychotherapy helped me make sense of my past and present world and allowed me to be creative within it. I wanted to become a therapist, trained hard and have worked extensively for 28 years as a psychotherapist, supervisor and facilitator in NHS, Goldsmiths College, Lewisham College and private practice.
I began creative writing and after winning Short Fuse Poetry Idol, then Poetry Idol the Rivals in 2003, armed with Casio keyboard and ukulele, I became one of the quirkiest acts on the UK’s spoken word scene, featured at events such as Ledbury Poetry Festival, London Literature Festival at Southbank and National Theatre. I have had 4 successful Edinburgh shows (2008 being in Edinburgh’s only swimming pool venue, a solo show then hosting over 100 other writers/performers in the pool).
My experience of mental health and having MS has taken me into disability arts, performing at events such as Liberty festival (Liberty laureate 2009), DaDa fest, Freud Museum and numerous therapy conferences/events.
Shows: Rachel and Liz get in Touch with Their Feelings 2006
I’ve Only Got Myself to Blame 2007
Liz Bentley-on-Sea/Edinburgh-on-Sea 2008 (and other pools including Camberwell-on-Sea)
Crash Bash Trash (CBT) 2010/11 (Arts council funded 20 date UK tour)
AAA (Age Anxiety and Alzheimers) Rating 2015
Sex Politics and Men with Grey/White Beards 2018 (written for Freud Museum exhibition on Solitary Pleasures)
From swimming pools, beach huts, trains and vaults – like my material, there is no place I won’t consider venturing.
Links to my books are in the books section… and so on ….
Link to my latest blog I write “Liz Bentley thoughts while waiting for the Tesco Delivery Man (or occasionally woman” Disability Arts Online
“Like a female Ivor Cutler” “like a cross between Tracey Emin and Josie Long” “She’s a good swimmer” The Scotsman
“Such an exhilarating experience” Chortle
“Bentley has such a warm, open personality that we’ve yet to see an audience fail to be drawn in and love her. The fact that she has a keen talent for observation and self-deprecation adds to the enjoyment and she is also, simply, hilarious.” The Londonist
“Liz Bentley’s show at the Freud Museum was a hilarious critique of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. With her trusty ukulele and Casio keyboard Liz captivated a sellout crowd with an infectious delivery and lacerating wit. One of the highlights of the year.
Liz contributed to the events programme accompanying our exhibition ‘Solitary Pleasures’. Most museums do not have exhibitions about masturbation, but Liz rose to the occasion with a suitably anarchic, confessional and bawdy performance.
Having worked as a counsellor and psychotherapist, with her own history of mental and physical health problems, Liz carries a depth of experience and personal engagement that is evident in her work and impressive performances”. Ivan Ward, Freud Museum