National Institute for Health Research
Collaboration for Leadership in
Applied Health Research and Care –

Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Lincolnshire
University of Nottingham

Dementia play at the Lakeside Arts Centre

Inside Out of Mind

Inside Out of Mind is an innovative project which has brought together ethnographic researchers with theatre practitioners to tackle the challenge of dementia care. 

The resulting play brilliantly illustrates the multiple realities of life on a dementia ward, and is a unique collaboration between Meeting Ground Theatre Company, Lakeside Arts Centre, The University of Nottingham's Institute of Mental Health and the NHS. 

Darkly comic and offering glimpses of the largely mysterious world of dementia care, the play is based on extensive and rigorous participant observation in dementia wards by researchers Simon Bailey, Kezia Scales and Joanne Lloyd, and has taken 3 years to evolve into a theatre production from the original ethnographic research.

The play aims to impact positively on the care of those with dementia, to encourage empathy and intuitive listening. It is a powerful illustration of life on a dementia ward from the perspective of the patients, the staff and visitors.

Writer and Director Tanya Myers used the highly detailed and extensive field notes taken in dementia wards as a "seed" to inspire her in the writing of Inside Out of Mind. The original research which Tanya drew heavily on was led by Professor of Mental Health and Social Care, Justine Schneider, who commented: "... Tanya has managed to create a remarkable and original piece of theatre with genuine echoes of our observations in every character and scene".

In July 2011, an invited audience drawn from a broad spectrum of interest groups saw the work in progress. CLAHRC NDL Director and Professor of Nursing Rachel Munton was in the audience and said of play: " amazing and powerful piece. Balanced, accurate - if painful. [It] should be seen by staff within services providing care". 


How you can help

The Inside Out of Mind MIN (Managed Innovation Network) was established to build on the successful workshop production of  the play and to enable the next phase of development work.They are seeking opportunities to tour this groundbreaking production in 2014. If you are interested in bringing Inside Out of Mind to your area by helping to create a partnership between the local arts community and people concerned about dementia care, please contact

See the play

Public performances of Inside Out of Mind will be held at the Lakeside Arts Centre on the 14, 15, 22, 28 and 29 June at 7.30pm, with 2pm matinee performances on 22 and 29 June.

NHS performances and conference dates are scheduled for 17-20 and 24-27 June.

Posted on Wednesday 20th March 2013

Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care - Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Lincolnshire


Institute of Mental Health
University of Nottingham Innovation Park
Triumph Road

Telephone: 0115 823 1253