Left to Right: Ralph Bogard, Alex Nowak, Tracey Briggs & Matty Gurney

Matty Gurney and the Creative team worked with consultant Herbert Klien, expert in Deaf Mental health patient experience . The sessions with Herbert Klien gave a history of Mental health services over the past thirty years, with specific focus on deaf patient experience, including common behaviours. Herbert also described how the medical treatment had changed and how attitudes towards deaf people had changed.

The sessions with Herbert Klien were very successful, because they succeeded in moving the project away from the ambition to adapt the play One flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest. The R&D demonstrated that there was now, a more urgent story to tell about Deaf mental health. The input over a number days with Herbert Klien replaced the sessions with deaf mental health service users.

Deaf Actor Alex Nowak during the R&D session with Matty Gurney & Herbert Klien

Using the shared language of BSL, Actor Alex Nowak and Artistic Director Matty Gurney pulled together the R&D and made a number of performances for camera. Together they produced a remarkable piece of work.

Mentor George Mann could see great potential as the work clearly demonstrated Matty Gurney’s ability to be a leader in the rehearsal studio and devise new theatre work that is relevant to deaf and hearing audiences. Dr Sally Austin was overwhelmed by the performance stating how important this performance could be for health professionals working with deaf people.

Dr Sally Austin is keen to champion this work in the health sector and can clearly see the role of the show in a health setting.