Performances at Latitude Festival 2017


Funny and engaging, ‘Hearing Things’ draws together the stories of those receiving and providing mental health care and opens the door on a closed world.

Nicholas is a psychiatrist battling with the demands of his work. When an ‘SUI’ (serious untoward incident) occurs to one of Nicholas’ patients, his life is turned upside down.

Playing ON produces theatre to transform the lives of disenfranchised people. For the past five years, they have been collaborating with psychiatrists, staff and patients, pulling together their stories to develop an urgent new show. ‘Hearing Things’ is the result of this work.

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Jim Pope interviewed on Disability Arts Online about Playing On’s new experimental theatre piece about mental health, Hearing Things

For full interview Click here


Playing On’s Production of HEARING THINGS to be shown at the Wellcome Collection as part of BEDLAM:THE ASYLUM AND BEYOND

Thursday 20 October 2016
Friday 21 October 2016

These performances are sold out.  For information about further performances of the play in February 2017 contact

Playing On theatre company present a moving and provocative drama that opens a window to the closed world of psychiatry. ‘Hearing Things’, by Philip Osment, explores the blurred lines between perceptions of mental illness in society and the many different realities.

For the past five years, Playing On have been collaborating with psychiatrists, other staff and patients, drawing together the stories of those receiving and providing mental health care. ‘Hearing Things’ is the result of that process.

Playing On make quality theatre with communities whose voices are seldom heard. They work in a variety of settings, generating theatre from improvisations inspired by real-life experiences.

This event is FREE. Tickets will become available here from 11.00 on Friday 30 September.

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Welcome Collection


ITV report

To view an ITV report on our work click here


Photo Gallery




Hearing Things


HEARING THINGS at The Albany Empire

Hearing Things
Tuesday 26 – Saturday 30 April, 8pm
Saturday 30 April, 2.30pm
The Albany
Douglas Way, Deptford
London SE8 4AG

Hearing ThingsExploring the dilemmas and challenges faced by people working or living in psychiatric hospitals, Hearing Things draws on experiences of patients and staff, the ‘healthy’ and the ‘ill’, to consider if and how healing is possible in that context.

Since collaborating with mental health charity MAC-UK at the Roundhouse in March 2011, we have worked with many people who are affected by the stigma of mental illness. Following successful engagement programmes within the psychiatric wards of Homerton and the Maudsley hospitals devising theatre with staff and patients, we enjoyed a residency at the mental Health Club’s Dragon Cafe in Borough before setting up a free weekly drama group here at the Albany.

This new play by award winning playwright Philip Osment, which explores the difficulties and dilemmas faced by both staff and patients working within mental health in the UK is on at the Albany in Deptford from April 26th-30th.

To view an ITV report on our work click here

We look forward to seeing you soon,

Jim Pope
Playing On
Book Online
Box Office 020 8692 4446

The Albany
Douglas Way, Deptford
London SE8 4AG

The Albany 

Drop In Drama for Mental Wellbeing

From Wednesday 16 March,2016 6pm – 8.30pm

Drop In Drama for Mental Wellbeing

Join us each Wednesday from 16 March at the Albany for social, skills based drama workshops that will focus around improvisation and play with opportunities for you to perform in a festival of work.

These sessions are designed for adults ages 18+ who have experienced or who are experiencing mental health issues.

If you are interested in joining please contact
All sessions are free.

Ages 18+


Philip Osment wins Writers’ Guild Award 2013

Philip Osment has won the award for Best Theatre Play for Young People by the prestigious Writers Guild of Great Britain for his play WHOLE.

WHOLE, which toured to schools and theatre venues earlier this year with the Liverpool based 20 Stories High, was a phenomenal success with audiences and critics alike. A review in The Stage remarked: “Whole is one of the most hard-hitting and moving pieces of theatre for young audiences I’ve ever seen.”

The play explored the challenging themes of religion, sex and sexuality and was developed with Philip and 20 Stories Highs’ Young Actors Company in Liverpool.

The Writers Guild award ceremony is held annually in London and gives prizes for writers in many categories including Theatre, Radio TV and Film. Other notable winners at the ceremony included Peter Moffat for his TV series Silk, ITV soap Coronation Street for Best Continuing Drama and Sally El Hosaini for her screenplay My Brother the Devil. The renowned playwright David Edgar also received an award for outstanding contribution to writing and writers.

Philip said on winning the award:
“It is great to receive the award and fantastic that there is such an award because you can often feel a bit invisible writing plays for children and young people. However, that’s less true now than it was 20 years ago because more and more theatres and promoters are recognising the importance of that audience. The reputation of theatre for young people is enhanced by the quality of the work produced by 20 Stories High who provided the context for writing the play and supported all aspects of script development including rigorous dramaturgy from Julia Samuels [director] and Lin Coghlan [dramaturg]. The company also brokered a relationship for me with the young people in their youth theatre and young company. These young people were so generous in sharing their stories and giving feedback on the script at all stages.”

If you missed WHOLE and would like to know more, the play is available to buy online on Oberon’s website: