Theatre in the old psychiatric hospitals

Juliet Foster, a social psychologist working at the University of Cambridge, has been  funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council to research the role of theatre in the old psychiatric hospitals, which closed down in the early 1990s.

She is interested in collecting stories from people who remember anything about theatre or drama in these hospitals:

“It doesn't matter if these memories are short or long - there are no right answers.  Perhaps you remember plays being put on, or pantomimes or other similar entertainment?  I am equally interested in the memories of patients, members of staff and people who might have lived in the local communities.”

You can send Juliet Foster your material by completing an online survey or by email.

The BBC Shropshire pages recently reported research into history of one such establishment – Shelton Hospital at Bicton Heath near Shrewsbury:

"There was a tailors shop, there was a carpenters - it was a whole community at one time, with a farm as well," said Dan Reeves, a heritage project officer.

He is collecting the unusual history of a Victorian asylum in Shropshire ahead of its scheduled closure later in the year.