Following Patient 36 goes online

Photo: Following Patient 36 goes online

Telling the Following Patient 36 story online – in film, sound, text and images.

When Covid-19 meant we couldn’t perform live, we decided to make an online version of our ‘Following Patient 36’ story.

Following Patient 36 is DIY’s current show. It explores Learning Disability History and the resilience of people with learning disabilities. The story revolves around our fictional character – Patient 36. We first meet Patient 36 while they are living in an institution and follow them as they leave as part of Care in the Community and right up to the present day.

When the pandemic started DIY’s Core Company was working towards live performances of the show at the Working Class Movement Library and Manchester Histories Festival. We were very disappointed when these plans became impossible when the UK went into lockdown. We knew from audience feedback of our sharing events in 2019 that Following Patient 36 is a powerful performance that needed to be seen.


Such a difficult subject brilliantly portrayed.
(Audience Feedback from sharing event on 5th July 2019)

We realised that we had enough material to make an online version of the Following Patient 36 story. Working with film-maker Hilary Easter Jones and Graphic Artist Andrea Fanchette we were able to find a whole new approach to telling our story online, instead of the physical stage. The online book that we created includes images, films and songs from the show.

Go to our Following Patient 36 showpage to see the online story book

We hope you like it.

The ending was lovely, so joyful and positive.
(Audience Feedback from sharing event on 5th July 2019)

DIY would always rather give live performances, but under the circumstances we were really pleased that both the Manchester Histories and Enrich Festivals went online this year and offered us an opportunity to share our interactive story on a digital stage.

Thank you so much to all of you at DIY Theatre for taking part in our festival! Patient 36 went down amazingly and we feel so special that you allowed us to show it!
(Eloise, Enrich Festival Organiser)


Many thanks to the funders who have supported this work, The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England.

logos of The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England




There’s still time to get your festival fix!

From the 5th to the 7th of September DIY toured the country – virtually – taking part in 3 different festivals. DIY would like to say a huge thankyou to all the festival teams. We had a great time and are so pleased to have been able to share our work whilst we are unable to perform live. Thanks also for the wonderful feedback.

There’s a whole load of inspiring and innovative work that we can see now! Covid-19 stopped people from getting together but the upside from this is that much of the materials produced is still there to be seen and experienced.

For a whole wealth of material gathered and generated for their festival visit Manchester Histories DigiFest 2020 webpage, sorry this page is no longer available.

The live weekend attracted 3,000 online viewers we for a weekend of brilliant and varied work. It all marked and celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970, pioneered by the late Lord Alf Morris, and 50 years of Disabled People Rights.

If you missed it, or want to see it again . . .

You can still catch the interview with DIY’s Artistic Director Sue Caudle, (broadcast live on 5.9.20). Sue talks about how material for our live show ‘Following Patient 36’ was developed and how it has been adapted so that it can still be shared digitally. Two short DIY films follow. The first looks at a live R&D session with a pivotal moment when members of the company “realised that what we were working on as history, is actually happening in the present time.”

Visit Manchester Histories Facebook page to watch now, DIY’s section is around the 3.30 time mark.

A screen grab showing Sue Caudle being interviewed as part of Manchester Histories Digifest 2020

Have a look at Manchester Histories ‘In-depth’ and Gallery pages:

The ‘In-Depth’ area brings together a wide range of subjects shared using interviews, talks and films. You can find DIY’s digital story version of ‘Following Patient 36’ here. The online Gallery is a great opportunity to see artists personal visions and historical artifacts.

Moving from Manchester to the North East, the Connect LD+ 2020 Live Festival may be over but there’s still lots to see on the Lawnmowers festival page. Material is organised into different ‘Tents’, including Lockdown Life, Fresh Stuff and Canny Classics.

Visit the Lawnmowers festival website  – you might want to get yourself a drink and find a comfy seat!

A screen grab from the Lawnmowers website showing a page from their 'Lockdown' digitalfestival tent