We are excited to be back in the rehearsal room after our short summer break. We are remounting our exciting & terrifying show, Objects of Terror.
About a year ago we began devising and creating this new show with Associate Director of York Theatre Royal & long term OOC artistic collaborator, Juliet Forster. We wanted to explore the history of social attitudes towards mental health and as well as its various treatments. Both these areas have a disturbingly dark past; but the play simultaneously raises the observation of how misunderstanding and a lack of resources can lead to the stuff of nightmares; and how these very same problems still haunt us today.
In other words - our show about the past is not really about the past. It's about today. Albert Einstein is rumoured to be the author of this quote...
Whilst we may no longer use rotational chairs or cut out vital organs as methods for treating mental illness we observe that the attitudes behind these treatments were essentially flawed; despite the fact that the motivations to help were of good intent. How are the patients themselves perceived? As 'objects of terror,' as ''other', as 'fundamentally damaged', as 'threats to society'...the list goes on.
We began rehearsals as we begin our play...with the prologue. Dr. Rideau pulls back the curtain on a victorian asylum...inviting the public to stare at the spectacle of a lunatic ball. These historical events were public dances where the inmates were on display and they raised a great deal of much needed money to keep the institutions running. This was of course exploitation but it also meant there was a degree of exposure and transparency. The common phrase 'round the bend' has its roots in the fact that such institutions were often built around the bend of a public road and thus hidden; society need not be troubled with the sights and sounds of mental distress.
We, like Rideau, are pulling back the dramatic curtain on a dreadful past. We invite you to join us in the hope that you will also get a real glimpse into our the present troubles of mental health care and, perhaps, inspire a brighter future.
Book tickets here for what promises to be another sell-out show. We would love to have you join us.