News

We love making theatre. We love it when you come to watch our theatre! Keep in touch with our work with advance news and behind the scenes shenanigans by subscribing to our blog.

 

What is past is prologue....

The public are excited for the arrival of the charismatic Dr. Rideau. We also pretty excited to be back in rehearsal.

The public are excited for the arrival of the charismatic Dr. Rideau. We also pretty excited to be back in rehearsal.

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.

'Mad Catherine will bless you for a guinea.' It all comes down to money and resources...

'Mad Catherine will bless you for a guinea.' It all comes down to money and resources...

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...

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

 

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.

Playwright and Artistic Director Paul tweaks the script whist actors Jamie and Chloe create the 'Rotational Chair'.

Playwright and Artistic Director Paul tweaks the script whist actors Jamie and Chloe create the 'Rotational Chair'.

Mr. Carroll gets an unsuspecting shock from violent patient, Michael King...but is everything what it seems? Depends on your attitude...

Mr. Carroll gets an unsuspecting shock from violent patient, Michael King...but is everything what it seems? Depends on your attitude...

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.

Actor Laurie plays George Brown, a new character for this year's version of the show. All the patients in the play are based on real people...we are not in the realm of fantasy.

Actor Laurie plays George Brown, a new character for this year's version of the show. All the patients in the play are based on real people...we are not in the realm of fantasy.

Actor Wayne plays Jonas, a troubled soul with a dreadful secret.

Actor Wayne plays Jonas, a troubled soul with a dreadful secret.

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.

It's time to abandon the mask...

It's time to abandon the mask...