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Inside Out of Mind

An innovative project, which brought together ethnographic researchers with theatre practitioners to tackle the challenge of dementia care, led to the staging of a ground-breaking play at the Lakeside Arts Centre in Nottingham in June 2013.

The play, Inside Out of Mind, brilliantly illustrates the multiple realities of life on a dementia ward, and was a unique collaboration between Meeting Ground Theatre Company, Lakeside Arts Centre, the Institute of Mental Health and the NHS.

The play, written by Tanya Myers, was based on extensive and rigorous participant observation in dementia wards by researchers Simon Bailey, Kezia Scales and Joanne Lloyd (funded by a major NIHR research project), and took three years to evolve into a theatre production from the original research. Inside Out of Mind shows the dementia ward from the perspective of the patients, staff and visitors, and aims to impact positively on the care of those with dementia, and to encourage empathy and intuitive listening.

A total of 1,300 healthcare assistants attended the play and linked workshops for day-long conferences. Seven public performances have raised awareness in the media and general public about people with dementia and those who work with them.