Hearing Things is a moving and provocative new drama exploring the dilemmas of psychiatry, from the points of view of patients, relatives and staff.
Written by Writer’s Guild award winner Philip Osment and with a cast including Jim Pope and Jeanette Rourke, Hearing Things follows the journey of six characters’ struggles with mental health. Nicholas is a psychiatrist battling with the demands of his work and trying to keep his marriage alive. His father is showing early signs of Alzheimer’s and he is finding it increasingly hard to cope. When an “SUI” (serious untoward incident) occurs to one of Nicholas’ patients his life is turned upside down.
Created after 5 years of extensive research and development at some of the top mental health care facilities in the UK, Hearing Things considers the relationships between psychiatry and medication, doctor and patient.
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HEARING THINGS by Philip Osment and directed by Jim Pope was premiered at the Albany Empire in Deptford on Tuesday 26th of April, 2016.
The mentally ill are a profoundly disenfranchised group, Playing ON aims to bring their unheard voices to the stage in 2017.
The project started as a drama programme involving collaboration between Playing ON Theatre Company, clincal psychologists at MAC UK and their client group, and with NHS clinicians and residents of Homerton Hospital, drawing together the stories of those receiving and providing mental health care.
People often fear the stigma and mistreatment from mental health workers. Our programme looks at their journey from when they are admitted, receive diagnoses, are prescribed medication; begin a ‘talking’ therapy, to returning back to community. Through the delivery of drama workshops with people based in inpatient settings, Playing On aims to validate the individual and communal experiences of suffering with and recovering from mental illness.
Our overarching goal for the HEARING THINGS programme was always to commission a play for public theatre, integrating the themes from the community work with MAC-UK and NHS inpatient care, to improve public understanding of mental health care.
In May 2012 we delivered a series of engagement workshops for residents from the secure psychiatric unit in Homerton Hospital. This marked the second phase of our research and development within the mental health sector.
In 2013 we developed two scratch performances with Playing ON members and mental health services users. These played at the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith and the Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich to enthusiastic audiences.
We secured funding from the Maudsley charity for a residential programme at the Maudsley from April to June 2014 culminating in performances on the ward, in the Ortus Centre and as part of the Anxiety Festival at the Albany in Deptford.
In the Spring of 2016 the company secured Arts Council funding to commission and produce the play at the Albany see NEWS/ARCHIVE
In Autumn 2016 the company was invited to perform the play at the Wellcome Trust as part of their Festival Bedlam: The Asylum and Beyond
In 2017 came perfomances at
the Omnibus Theatre, Clapham
31st Jan – 4th Feb, 7.30pm
VAULT Festival 2017
8th – 12th Feb, 18:00
11th & 12th Feb, 14:45
At Birmingham Repertory Theatre as part of the Bedlam Festival
At Latitude Festival 2017
HEARING THINGS BY PHILIP OSMENT
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.
For responses to the play see Social Media
INTERVIEW WITH JIM POPE ABOUT HEARING THINGS ON LONDON LIVE
INTERVIEW WITH JIM POPE ABOUT HEARING THINGS ON BBC RADIO LONDON