Inside Out of Mind looks at the working lives of the people who are employed to care for those who have been forgotten by society. Set in an NHS ward, the show gives audiences an authentic insight into the reality of dementia care, based on research in hospitals wards. People responsible for training the NHS workforce agre that seeing this play is a novel way of developing awareness and compassion in staff who need to work with a growing population of patients with dementia. Several NHS trusts ran workshops for staff who had seen the show, to build on the experience as an educational opportunity. One trainer told an independent evaluator that she would like the play to be “compulsory for all hospital staff – from cleaners to doctors, as it would help to give them more insight”.
Playwright Tanya Myers brings audiences into the confusing world of a person with dementia; they enter the theatre to be surrounded by forest sounds and digital imagery which creates and illusion of branches, symbolising synapses of the brain firing. The story follows the emotional journey of a distressed older man and the young woman carer, who is trying to understand his strange behaviour. Bereft of words, love stories weave into the everyday life on the ward. With humour and sympathy we meet people with rich life stories, whose circumstances have changed dramatically as a result of dementia.