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Hearing Things

86 pages46 minutes


Hearing Things explores the dilemmas of psychiatry from the points of view of patients, relatives and staff. Based on experiences of psychiatrists and patients, the ‘healthy’ and the ‘ill’, the play examines how and if people heal and recover inside institutions. As part of the research process, staff and patients at Homerton University Hospital and the Maudsley Hospital in south London took part in drama programmes creating characters and improvising scenes , with clinicians and those receiving treatment swapping roles. Using a unique collaborative process between patients, psychiatrists and mental health staff, Playing ON Theatre Company drew together the stories of those receiving and providing mental health care culminating in performances at the hospitals and in theatre spaces. At the Maudsley, as a result of taking part, two patient’s progress was so great that doctors allowed their early discharge.

The script of Hearing Things was informed by these workshop programmes and by the participants.

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