INSIDE OUT OF MIND
by Tanya Myers.
Lakeside Arts Centre (Djanogly Theatre) University Boulevard NG7 2RD To 29 June 2013.
10am 20, 24-27 June.
2.30pm 22, 29 June.
7.30pm 22,28, 29 June.
Runs 1hr 55min One interval.
TICKETS: 0115 846 7777.
Review: Alan Geary 14 June.
Annoying agitprop blended with some elements of a play.
Tanya Myers’s Inside Out of Mind takes us to an assessment centre for dementia patients – there’s talk of somewhere in the Nottingham area, but it could be anywhere in England. This isn’t so much a play in the traditional sense: narrative content and development are subordinated. But you might come away from it with an appreciation of what it’s like to be in such a place, or a closer appreciation if you have been. More importantly, you might have greater empathy for the staff and patients involved.
Annoyingly though, when the message properly kicks in, the piece becomes a naked piece of agitprop, complete with direct addresses to the audience demanding better pay and proper training for the folk who look after dementia sufferers. This doesn’t apply to doctors, into whom the boot is well and truly stuck. They, and those sceptics who doubt that all nurses and care assistants are ministering angels, might not buy the message. Other people will.
Acting standards are high, particularly when it comes to Maurice Roëves, as Mr P, a patient and ex-neurologist, Maxine Finch (Grace and Elsie) and Joanna Macleod (patient and ex-ballet dancer Muriel, and Brenda). Some clever lighting at the start superimposes on the set the suggestion of a forest (a symbol of the mind?) with things darting about like birds (neurons?).
This is a collaboration between Meeting Ground Theatre Company, the Lakeside, the NHS, Nottingham University and The Institute of Mental Health. The programme tells us that a team of three ethnographers did a mountain of research for the play; in fact, a generalised representation of one of them, with the unlikely name of Youth, is played by Holly-Robyn Harrison.
Keith/George/Dr Dido: Jarrod Cooke.
Grace/Elsie: Maxine Finch.
Raj/Tom Bisset: Jim Findley.
Youth: Holly-Robyn Harrison.
Gertie/Hazel: Ulrike Johannson.
Sophie: Lily Lowe-Myers.
Muriel/Brenda: Joanna Macleod.
Patricia/Anna Bisset: Anna Mottram.
Mr P: Maurice Roëves.
Director: Tanya Myers.
Designer: Nettie Scriven.
Lighting: Richard Statham.
Sound/Composer: David Wilson.