We've been quiet on the blog for sometime but, behind the scenes, we've been extremely busy. We are now proud to announce our new show - In/Hospitable! In the run up to the play's June debut we promise to keep you posted about the development of the show and how it will dramatically change over time...
At Carrel Psychiatric Hospital the impossible has happened and keeps happening. Every hour the facility completely changes; only the patients remain the same.
Combining hope, horror, health and hilarity this debut performance of In/Hospitable, this science fiction farce by Out of Character Theatre Company explores the tensions and challenges of mental health provision in 2018.
The Big Idea
The production will make its debut as part of the conference 'Releasing Potential: Higher Education sector's contribution to adult & young people's mental health'. Anyone can attend the performance. Followed, on the following evening, by another show as part of the York Festival of Ideas. It is fitting that the play's first performances will be in the context of debate and reflection because both the plot of the play and the nature of the ambitious In/Hospitable project is that many voices will change what happens.
Usually a play will be crafted, over time, until it reaches a 'final draft' or a perfect version of itself. In/Hospitable aims never to be finished. Instead we are embarking on a two year adventure to constantly change the text based on the experiences of its audiences. This is reflected in the dramatic structure of the play. The action focusses on a psychiatric hospital as it welcomes the visit of a Government minister. As he meets staff and patients of this hospital we hop into alternate universes where the priorities and strategies of care are very different. We have conducted interviews with service users, clinical staff and carers and used this material to devise the June 2018 version of the play. Over the next two years we will talk to more people and discover different, and surely sometimes contradictory, perspectives from which we will create new scenes with the same characters leading to very different kinds of production. Thanks to some incredibly helpful support from the People's Health Trust we will be running workshops with many different kinds of groups to help better understand what the wrestles are, at every level, with providing good care for mental health service users and what this means for them, their families and professional staff.
So, we hope you can join us to see at least one of the many versions of our Science Fiction Farce! The theme of the Festival of Ideas is 'Imagining the Impossible'. We hope our show will use an impossible Story to reflect the reality of care in 2018; albeit in an exaggerated form. Perhaps we will even, with the help of many, discover some possible solutions for a brighter future..?