Skip to main content
Hari Berrow   BA (Hons) MA (Dist) PG Cert MHSci AFHEA

Hari Berrow BA (Hons) MA (Dist) PG Cert MHSci AFHEA

Research student

School of English, Communication and Philosophy


I am an interdisciplinary researcher, scriptwriter, and critic working at the intersection of creative writing, psychology and neuroscience and media theory. My research explores:

- presentations of mental ill-health in scripted works
- how horror, magical realism and speculative fiction can be used to make abnormal psychology accessible to audiences
- ethical and practical questions around creating presentations of mental disorder.

My work has been showcased at The Other Room and the Sherman Theatre. I am a regular contributor to Buzz Magazine's Theatre & Dance sections, and my creative nonfiction has been featured in a number of publications. 

I am currently working with a number of writers as a dramaturg, supporting them to craft their own scripted work. While the writers I work with span across a broad range of topics, genres and formats, my research has been integral to developing a process that serves their artistic vision and allows them to create something commercially viable as well as meaningful. I have a background in acting, and have worked as a director, writer and producer on a mix of stage and screen productions. I have worked as a corporate scriptwriter for several years, and have experience in corporate and entertainment video production.


  • presentations of mental ill-health and mental disorder in scripted texts
  • ways of using psychology and neuroscience to create character
  • ways of using social scientific and audience theory to inform narrative 
  • the way audiences engage with scripted media
  • horror, magical realism, gothic fiction & speculative fiction


  • Berrow, H. (2021) 'On Mental Health, Creation and Horror' in Benstead, C., Parris, S. C. & Burns, V. (Eds.) Hear Us Scream: The Voices of Horror Vol. 1.
  • Raelyn, H. (2021) 'Empowered', t'Art Magazine, Jan, Issue 1. 


  • Raelyn, H. (2022) Strange Matter (Excerpt). Sherman Theatre.
  • Raelyn, H. (2021) A Silent Image (Excerpt). The Other Room Theatre/Online (link here:
  • Raelyn H. (2018) Brav Sein (Scratch). The Other Room Theatre.


A link to the reviews and interviews I have published with Buzz Magazine can be found here: 

I have also written copy for a number of advertising and training campaigns for larger companies, including scripting training videos for the NHS in collaboration with Healthy Teen Minds, Great Western Railway and Bowel Screening Wales. 


Utilising horror and magical realism to represent mental ill-health in scripted work

My thesis is 50/50 critical exploration and scriptwriting. Exploring presentations of mental ill-health within the horror genre, I seek to understand how the genre and works adjacent to it affirm damaging stereotypes surrounding mental disorder. I also explore ethical questions surrounding the creation of characters with mental ill-health, as well as how scientific writing can be used to support a creative practice.

I look to how tropes and techniques from the horror genre and other works of speculative fiction can be used to generate empathy and foster understanding for characters with mental health difficulties by creating landscapes of mental ill-health that audiences can use to access what is otherwise only in the mind.Exploring texts such as Carrie, His House and Saint Maud, I hope to discover how magical realism can be used to externalise illnesses and disorders that are otherwise invisible to audiences, and allow audiences insight into the experience of living with mental ill-health. 

My scripts focus on the experiences of characters living with trauma-induced psychosis. I use psychological and neuroscientific theory to craft both the external behaviours of my protagonists, and the horror and fantasy imagery that surrounds them. Through applying the ideas explored in my critical thesis, I hope to create evocative and stigma-challenging portrayals of the complexities of living with such misunderstood and debilitating symptoms. 

Funding sources



  • 2023 - Seminar Tutor - Celebrity Culture (Cardiff University, School of Journalism, Media and Culture)
  • 2023 - Seminar Tutor - Drama: Stage and Page (Cardiff University, School of English, Communication and Philosophy)
  • 2023 - Seminar Tutor - Representations (Cardiff University, School of Journalism, Media and Culture)
  • 2022 - Seminar Tutor -  Advertising & The Consumer Society (Cardiff University, School of Journalism, Media and Culture)
  • 2022 - Seminar Tutor - Ways of Reading (Cardiff University, School of English, Communication and Philosophy)
  • 2021 - Guest Tutor - MA in Creative Writing (Cardiff University, School of English, Communication and Philosophy)
  • 2021 - Seminar Tutor - Critical Reading & Writing (Cardiff University, School of English, Communication and Philosophy)

I also teach yoga, and have taught a number of writing and drama workshops at various institutions, both academic and private.



I am a Welsh, working-class writer, dramaturg, arts journalist and postgraduate researcher. 

I completed a First Class (Hons) in Acting from University of Surrey's Guildford School of Acting in 2016. My dissertation explored ways that actors could use psychological texts to support the rehearsal process and aid the accurate expression of mental illness onstage. I then completed a Masters in Creative Writing (Distinction) at the Open University in 2020, and, in 2021, I began my research at Cardiff University.

My work has a particular focus on applied theory, and I have stayed active within the theatrical industry in Wales throughout my academic career. I have worked as an actor, director and producer consistently since my undergrad, and this has allowed me to stay aware of the work going on in my field and the fields adjacent to it. Most recently, I have worked as a dramaturg, supporting writers through their creative process and allowing them to craft work that is meaningful as well as commercially viable. In early 2023 I started working for free to the point of Research and Development with early-career writers in Wales to address the gaps in opportunity and support available to working class and low-income playwrights.

In 2022, I was a member of Sherman Theatre’s Unheard Voices programme and Buzz Magazine's early career journalism programme, Buzz Culture - I now work for Buzz as a regular contributor. My work has been featured in Hear Us Scream: The Voices of Horror, The Other Room’s Emerging Writers programme, and T'Art Magazine. I have presented papers for a number of conference and have worked with various universities and institutions to offer seminars and creative workshops.

I also work as a corporate scriptwriter, and have worked on a number of large campaigns - my favourite being Healthy Teen Minds' 2021 collaboration with the NHS, where I worked as a scriptwriter and consultant, supporting the development of a training programme for NHS professionals supporting young people presenting to hospital in a mental health crisis. 

Professional memberships

- Equity Member (2015 onwards)

Speaking engagements

●      2022, Utilising horror and the uncanny to foster understanding for characters with mental ill-health, Current Research in Speculative Fiction Conference, University of Liverpool

●      2021, On creating an online Arts & Mental Health community - Mad Hearts Conference, Queen Mary’s University London

●      2021, Love and Loss in Alice Isn’t Dead - Rural Gothic conference

●      2020, How to Build a Witch: Exploring PTSD in Folk Horror - The Folklore Podcast Lectures



  • Audience Theory
  • Scriptwriting
  • Applied psychology
  • Applied neuroscience