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Post-show Expert Panel

Disorder Contained: A Theatrical Examination of Madness, Prison and Solitary Confinement

Our panels comprising academics, artists, consultant psychiatrists, prison reformers and more were delighted to answer questions on the underpinning research for Disorder Contained and its relevance to today’s prisons.

Listen to the discussions


Professor Annie Bartlett is a Reader in Forensic Psychiatry at St George’s London University and Clinical Director for Offender Care at Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust. Since 2014, Annie has been Clinical Director for the Health in Justice Programme NHS England (London) Strategic Clinical Network and works closely with NOMS and the police to improve health care to those in contact with criminal justice system. She holds an MA in English and a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge, as well as being a qualified doctor specialising in Forensic Psychiatry. She has been a consultant in Forensic Psychiatry for 20 years, working in community as well as open, low secure, and medium secure hospital settings.

Peter Cann is a writer and director who works across a range of forms from small scale touring theatre to opera and large scale, site specific performance. His work with Talking Birds includes the other two parts of The Asylum Trilogy: The Trade in Lunacy and A Malady Of Migration. He directed the operas Troy Story and Ant and Cleo on which Talking Birds collaborated with The Orchestra of The Swan and children from special and mainstream schools. The music for all of these shows was written by Derek Nisbet, with whom Peter also collaborated on Taking Flight - the story of Frank Whittle and Twinsong with Volgograd Children’s Orchestra. He is an associate artist with UK companies Absolute Theatre and Centric Theatre and has worked for Birmingham Rep, The Welsh National Opera and Pentabus Theatre.

Peter’s international work includes a new libretto for La Boheme, commissioned by Cape Town based Isango Ensemble and numerous collaborations with O Teatro Montemuro. Two of his plays, Tres Monologos Duma Vida and A Almafada De Penas de Cuco, are currently touring Portugal. He is currently working with Cães do Mar in The Azores on a version of Moby Dick for one actor and a brass band. Peter is a part time lecturer in drama at The University of Wolverhampton.

Associate Professor Catherine Cox is one of two Principle Investigators on the Wellcome funded project Prisoners, Medical Care and Entitlement to Health in England and Ireland, 1850-2000. She is Director of the Centre for the History of Medicine in Ireland at University College Dublin. With Professor Hilary Marland, she is researching the strand of work on mental health in prison 1850–2000.

Her publications include Negotiating Insanity in the Southeast of Ireland, 1820-1900 (2012); with Hilary Marland, Migration, Health, and Ethnicity in the Modern World (2013); with Maria Luddy, Cultures of Care in Irish Medical History 1750-1970 (2010) and numerous articles. Her most recent book Adolescence in Modern Irish History (edited with Susannah Riordan) was published in 2015. With Dr Graham Brownlow, she is editor of Irish Economic and Social History.

Anita Dockley is Research Director of the Howard League for Penal Reform (UK). She is responsible for developing the charity’s research capacity, forging links with academics and universities, funders and partner organisations. Her own research interests include suicide and self-harm in prisons, women in prison and order and control in the prison environment.

Dr Elizabeth Hardwick is Consultant Psychiatrist with Combat Stress, the UK’s leading mental health charity for veterans, offering free specialist clinical treatment and support to ex-servicemen and women of the UK Armed Forces. Previously she was a Clinical Director and Consultant Psychiatrist with the NHS, during which time she was the visiting Psychiatrist for seven years to HMP Onley in Warwickshire. Other prisons in which she has worked include: HMP Blakenhurst, Long Lartin, Rampton High Secure Hospital, and prisons in New Zealand. Download her esssay Suicide and insanity in nineteenth-century prisons: The effect of the separate system of discipline on convict mental health.

Professor Hilary Marland is the other Principle Investigator on the prison project and Director of the Centre for the History of Medicine at the University of Warwick. With Catherine, she is researching the strand of work on mental health in prison 1850-2000.

Her research and publications have focused on the history of psychiatry, including Dangerous Motherhood: Insanity and Childbirth in Victorian Britain (2004) and the relationship between migration and mental illness, a joint project with Catherine Cox, resulting in Migration, Health, and Ethnicity in the Modern World (2013). Her most recent book Health and Girlhood in Britain, 1874-1920 was published in 2013. Aside from prison medicine, she is currently working on medicine in the modern household.

Derek Nesbitt was a founder member and is Co-Artistic Director of acclaimed theatre experimentalists Talking Birds. The Coventry-based company has pioneered ‘Theatre of Place’ through its work in unusual sites, in theatres and in the street (its big silver Whale is one of the most recognisable and sought-after street acts in the UK). The company is also known for its use of technology and its digital access tool, the Difference Engine, is being developed to make mobile captioning and audio description affordable and accessible to small companies and their audiences, and to increase the accessibility of work in non-usual theatre spaces. Derek is a composer, sound designer and theatre/film-maker, and co-directs Talking Birds with designer Janet Vaughan.

Fíona Ní Chinnéide is Acting Executive Director of the Irish Penal Reform Trust. She has led the organisation’s external communications and implementation of its campaigns programme since March 2009, when she joined as Campaigns and Communications Officer. Fíona has extensive experience working in the area of advocacy, campaigns and communications within the non-profit sector in Ireland and Europe. An undergraduate and graduate student of Trinity College Dublin, Fíona holds an MPhil in Creative Writing and an MA in Political Communications, Dublin City University, which centred on media, public opinion and policy change.

Genevieve Say is an artist and choreographer who works with dance, theatre, live art and cross art-form companies. A graduate of LIPA, Genevieve is founder and Artistic Director of The Mustdashios who recently performed at Duckie (Royal Vauxhall Tavern) and Saddlers Sampled (Saddlers Wells). She also choreographs and directs under her own name, creating work that is sometimes sited, often theatrical, at times conceptual and always concerned with visual imagery.

Genevieve is co-founder and Artistic Director of Birmingham Dance Network (BDN), an artist led organisation that creates professional development and networking opportunities for those involved in the dance industry in Birmingham and the West Midlands. She has been mentored by Jude Kelly OBE (Artistic director Southbank Centre), as part of Dance UK’s Future Leaders mentoring programme. As well as Disorder Contained Genevieve has recently performed with Talking Birds in The Female Warrior.