News

It has been a busy time for Operating Theatre. We have been involved in some great projects and are working with some fantastic partners to create some very exciting work that we can’t wait to tell you about.

We have recently appointed two new trustees and we would like to acknowledge their contribution to our ongoing process of company development. It is safe to say that without our Board we wouldn’t be where we are today. We rely on them to keep us right and inspire us to be better. We owe them all a deal of thanks.

We are currently developing a couple of projects in collaboration with some very talented people and we will be telling you about those projects very soon. We aren’t trying to be coy about it, honest, and will have news very soon.

August– As part of our continuing partnership  programme Alex Elliott, our Artistic Director, joined Claire Webster Saaremets of Skimstone Arts during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in a piece about early onset dementia called ‘The Ties that Bind’. The show received some fantastic feedback from those who came to see the show and there will probably be a tour in 2018. Watch this space.

16th May – We were delighted to be invited to be a part of the 19th  Nursing and Midwifery Conference celebrated at the Centre for Life in Newcastle Upon Tyne. Carol Clewlow created a piece called ‘A Serious Incident’ that brought together a modern nurse, Florence Nightingale and the perennial challenge of pressure damage. The play was very well received in spite of Gary Kitching’s best efforts to provoke the packed conference whilst playing the money chasing lawyer. What was very clear is just how dedicated and resilient the nurses of the NUTH Trust are.

23rd of March– We were invited to perform Squirrels our piece about the provision of Mental Health Services for young people, at Woodhorn in Northumberland by Cygnus Support. The piece was very well received by the audience, which was made up of Cygnus employees and partner organisations. There were a lot of experienced and dedicated workers who contributed to a lively and passionate debate about what the future should like when it comes to Mental Health Service provision for young people.

1st of March – In collaboration with Skimstone Arts we are proud to be part of the creation of a new piece called The Ties That Bind. Thanks to some development funding from Edinburgh University we are going to be exploring metaphor in dementia. How both those who are suffering from dementia and those who care for and support those people choose to express the shifting landscape that the condition creates. It’s very early days but it promises to be a really exciting project with live music, movement and a lot of surprises. The Ties That Bind will debut at the Theatre by the Lake in Keswick.
Future performance dates to follow.

26th and 27th of  February- As part of our ongoing programme of short dramas delivered to medical students Year 2 students watched White Lies a piece by Steve Chambers  It is a very moving piece about clinical error that really gets the students thinking about duty of candour and the fact that clinical error often comes about as a result of a whole chain of events. At the Stockton site the students craft an apology to the parent of a 30 week baby who may have been affected. This exercise is always challenging and stimulating for all involved.

16th of January – Letters Home originally created for Operating Theatre by Julia Darling was performed at the Medical School in Newcastle. It is a moving piece about anorexia and the impact of the condition on a family. Joy Sanders, who has played Grace, the mum in the piece, on several occasions, directed a very talented cast. This is part of our ongoing policy to draw on the strengths of those who have worked with us as performers and support them in developing other roles.

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We are delighted to be working with some very talented and dedicated professionals on a piece for Newcastle Hospitals Nursing Conference, which celebrates the achievements of the hundreds of nurses that deliver outstanding care to many thousands of patients in Newcastle upon Tyne and beyond. These are challenging times for the Trust and the NHS in general and the future is certain to require that nurses adapt, as they always have, to the demands of a service which is essential for so many. We have produced a draft version and look forward to developing the piece in collaboration with the organisers of this annual event.

On March 23 we performed Squirrels at the Woodhorn Colliery Museum for an event organised by Cygnus Support which provides support and services for the health and well being of women, men and young people. Cygnus Support were launching their new branding and meeting with their partners to discuss the next phase of their service development. It was an inspiring and informative session and we look forward to collaborating with Cygnus Support in the future.

Squirrels takes a long hard look at how some young people who are experiencing mental illness are left to fend for themselves. Left to their own devices in this situation, a band of friends form their own self-help group.

Squirrels is just one of the plays currently in our repertoire which can be booked for performance.

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