Following Patient 36

Photo: Following Patient 36

Following Patient 36 is DIY’s performance piece exploring Learning Disability History and the resilience of people with learning disabilities in Salford and Greater Manchester.

Back in 2018, DIY members took part in performances of Madhouse Re: Exit with Access all Areas Theatre Company, as part of The Lowry’s Week 53 event. DIY actors played a character called Patient 36 who guided audiences around the fictional Paradise Fields institution in a show which took a critical and challenging look at Learning Disability HistorySee more about DIY and MADHOUSE re:exit here

DIY members wanted to learn more about Learning Disability History. First we started to find out a lot more about what it was like in the institutions. Then we started to wonder what happened here in Salford. What happened when people came out of the institutions, as part of Care in the Community? That was how the idea for our Following Patient 36 Project was born.

Research and development for “Following Patient 36” was undertaken in 2019. We created a performance piece which incorporated live action, film, live and recorded music. The process involved was documented in our programme for the R & D sharing events – click the image below to see this.

You can see our programme for the Following Patient 36 sharing events, this is a picture of the cover

Sharing ‘Following Patient 36’ in 2019

photo from sharing event - scene showing how we interviewed people who had lived in an institution

New Adelphi Theatre

DIY held a residency at the New Adelphi Theatre at Salford University during July 2019 . This culminated in the first sharing of where we were up to with research and development for ‘Following Patient 36′ with our of our R&D performance piece.

Chetham’s Festival 50

In October 2019, Chetham’s School of Music celebrated its 50th birthday with ‘Festival 50’ – ‘a lively open weekend showcasing the region’s creative spirit’. DIY were invited to take part and we performed some of the songs devised for Following Patient 36. Find out more on Chetham’s own website.

Eccles Town Hall

DIY staged a second sharing performance in Eccles Town Hall in November 2019. This event gave us a second very positive opportunity to gain feedback from a live audience.

We were delighted that nearly 100 people came and even more delighted when the company received a standing ovation!

Photo of feedback written paper T-shirts and hung on a washing line

To make the show even stronger in the future we asked for feedback using symbol supported forms and our T-shirt washing line.

Following Patient 36 in 2020

We gathered lots of feedback from our audiences which has helped us to shape ‘Following Patient 36’ as we have moved into the production stage. During 2020 we have developed a very positive relationship with the Working Class Movement Library in Salford, which was once itself a hostel for people with learning disabilities. We have visited on a couple of research trips and have been given access to an amazing collection of placards, badges and photographs which have inspired us in developing our show.

Performances at Working Class Movement Library and other Manchester venues were scheduled to take place as part of Manchester Histories Festival, which was planned to take place in June 2020. Unfortunately, owing to the Coronavirus pandemic the festival has been postponed. We very much look forward to performing the piece at the Working Class Museum and other venues when we are able to.


During this project DIY have been working with:

  • Sue Caudle (Artistic Director)
  • Mary O’Neill (DIY Supporter)
  • Hilary Easter-Jones (film-maker)
  • Richard Easter (soundtrack)
  • Nerissa Cargill Thompson (designer)
  • Ian Dean (technical support)
  • Susan Guest (movement)
  • Sarah Atter (live music)

Thanks to: 

  • Niki Woods and New Adelphi Theatre – for venue & technical support for our Sharing Event held there in July 2019. www.newadelphitheatre.co.uk
  • ECHO – Eccles Community Hall Organisation, for use of venue. www.ecclestownhall.org
  • Nigel Ingham and Pathways Associates CIC – for support with research & use of images www.lancslearningdisabilityinstitutions.org.uk
  • Proud & Loud – for the loan of labcoats.
  • Jeanette and Lorraine at Lindley Travel.
  • Chethams School of Music (music workshops).

logo of National Lottery Heritage Fund - click to visit their website

Arts Council England logo - click to visit their site.


Photograph Acknowledgements:

  • Images of Brockhall and Calderstones Institutions courtesy:
  • Brenda Kay
  • Duncan Mitchell
  • David Whalley
  • Gill Cott
  • Lancashire County Council Museums Service
  • Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust
  • Pathways Associates CIC
  • Image of Prestwich Mental Hospital
  • Martin Parr © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos Click to find out more about Martin Parr
  • All other photographs, DIY’s own.

Video

This short trailer was used to promote public sharings as part of the research and development phase.

Exploring Our Past, Making Our Future. This film explores the devising processes used by DIY Theatre Company to  to develop 'Following Patient 36' Please be aware some of the scenes are disturbing. A film by Hilary Easter-Jones

Film 'The Mental Deficiency Act 1913', produced as part of the research and development work for Following Patient 36. Please be aware some of the ideas shown are disturbing. A film by Hilary Easter-Jones

Performances

  • Work in Progress Sharing Event at New Adelphi Theatre

    5 July 2019
  • Cheetham's School of Music

    20 October 2019
  • Eccles Town Hall

    19 November 2019
If you'd like DIY Theatre to perform at your centre, please get in touch