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Migration and mental health get dramatic treatment

theatreResearch on the relationship between migration and mental illness will be given the dramatic treatment in Coventry this summer in the second part of the ‘Asylum Trilogy’ theatre production.

The Centres for the History of Medicine at the University of Warwick and University College Dublin have teamed up with Coventry based, theatre company Talking Birds to create the new piece, entitled ‘A Malady of Migration’.

It will be performed at The ShopFront Theatre in Coventry (26-28 June 2014) and The New Theatre, Dublin (3-5 July 2014), aiming to make the findings of the research accessible to the public in an entertaining form that also opens up conversations about mental illness and its history.

A previous collaboration between Talking Birds and Warwick culminated in the 'Trade in Lunacy' production in 2013. Now the Centre for the History of Medicine at the University of Warwick has developed a second production, this time with the Centre for the History of Medicine at University College Dublin, led by Dr Catherine Cox.

Professor Hilary Marland, based in the Department of History at the University of Warwick, explained: “This is a chance to showcase our research in a way that is interesting, informative and sensitive, weaving in stories based on patients’ case histories and experiences. The aim is to make the findings of the research available to wider publics and stimulate thinking and debate about mental illness in the past and present.”

“The performance, based on an insightful and compassionate interpretation of the historical material, reveals both change and continuity in how we view mental illness, its causes and in particular its relationship to displacement, migration, isolation and poverty.”

There will be an expert panel discussion after the Thursday evening performances in each venue and a post-performance discussion on Saturday lunchtime, providing opportunities for audience members to discuss the making of the piece with researchers and the theatre company, and to engage in debate on issues raised by the performance.

 

Performance dates:

ShopFront Theatre, City Arcade, Coventry: Thursday 26th, Friday 27th, Saturday 28th June 2014, 1pm & 7pm Tickets: evening £8 (£4 conc); lunchtime £6 (£3 conc) Box Office: 0845 680 1926 talkingbirds.co.uk

The New Theatre, Temple Bar, Dublin: Thursday 3rd, Friday 4th, Saturday 5th July 2014, 1pm & 7.30pm. Tickets: evening €10 (5 conc) evenings; lunchtime €8 (€4) Box Office: 01 670 3361 thenewtheatre.com

Running time: 55 minutes approx. Please be advised that this production contains references to mental health issues and historical practices which may be considered sensitive. Age guidance: 12 +

Selected performances will be captioned (subtitled) to mobile devices via Talking Birds’ Difference Engine access tool: to use this service email de@talkingbirds.co.uk in advance.

 

Notes to Editors

For more information about the second part of the ‘Asylum Trilogy’ theatre production:

Melissa Holloway, Assistant Press Officer, University of Warwick, Melissa.Holloway@warwick.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)24 76 575601 Mobile/Cell: +44 (0)7824 541142

or

Professor Hilary Marland, Department of History, Hilary.Marland@warwick.ac.uk Tel: +44 (0)24 76 522506

Further Information:

'A Malady of Migration' is based on research being carried out by Professor Marland of Warwick and Dr Catherine Cox of University College Dublin, funded by the Wellcome Trust project grant: Madness, Migration and the Irish in Lancashire, c.1850-1921. The drama production is funded by the Wellcome Trust grant, with additional contributions from the Institute of Advanced Study and the Department of History at the University of Warwick, and the Centres for the History of Medicine at Warwick and UCD. They will be supported by postgraduate students and others, who will be conducting supplementary research and taking supporting roles in the drama. The Centre for the History of Medicine at Warwick, alongside promoting excellence in research, has a strong commitment to innovative and diverse public engagement activities.

The Centre for the History of Medicine (Warwick)’s collaboration with Talking Birds started in 2006 at the time of the Coventry and Warwickshire Hospital’s relocation and rebranding as UHCW, marking a significant moment in the history of the NHS and highlighting the changing nature of health care in the UK. With its dedication to site-specific productions, Talking Birds became an integral part of the project team, producing ‘ONE LAST LOOK’ which took place in the decommissioned former hospital.

Talking Birds is a Coventry-based theatre company, whose work is a distinctive blend of humour, music and visual flair, performed in venues both conventional and unconventional, across the UK and internationally. As well as collaborations with the Centre for the History of Medicine, Talking Birds is perhaps best known locally for ‘Song for a Phoenix’ which welcomed the Olympic Torch to Memorial Park in 2012; ‘We Love You City’ at the Belgrade Theatre – the tale of Coventry’s 1987 FA cup win; and an installation marking the closure of Bishop Street sorting office. The company’s touring and street art have been seen around the West Midlands and the UK and audiences may have spotted Talking Bird’s giant aluminium Whale, which swallows up audiences one at a time. Talking Birds is supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

 

 

Further Information:

Melissa Holloway, Assistant Press Officer, University of Warwick, Melissa.Holloway@warwick.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)24 76 575601

or

Professor Hilary Marland, Department of History, Hilary.Marland@warwick.ac.uk Tel: +44 (0)24 76 522506

or

Sheilagh Holmes

Coordinator, Centre for the History of Medicine, Sheilagh.Holmes@warwick.ac.uk Tel: 024 7657 2601

 

Useful Links:

Professor Hilary Marland

The Centre for the History of Medicine Warwick

The Centre for the History of Medicine in Ireland, University College Dublin

Talking Birds theatre company

Coventry venue: Shopfront Theatre

Dublin venue: New Theatre