From The Whittington Trust to the Houses of Parliament - This is the Journey of 'In Our Own Words'
Updated: Oct 31, 2022
In 2020, with Arts Council Funding, Wake the Beast and The Whittington’s Clinical Health Psychology Team began going into the Whittington Trust to talk to staff and document their stories on what it is like to work during a pandemic.
We interviewed over 200 people and collected 140 hours of footage and with that material we created five different pieces in verbatim and called it 'In Our Own Words'.
We rehearsed 'In Our Own Words' during lockdown, in hospital wards. And then in June 2020 began presenting it, along with clinical psychologists to Care Home, B.A.M.E, community and hospital staff, across seven sites within The Whittington Trust.
We were even mentioned in The Guardian Newspaper, in an article they wrote about support offered to NHS workers during the pandemic:
"The arts are helping some staff decompress. The Whittington brought in the Wake the Beast theatre company to put on a session of experimental drama, in which staff found it therapeutic to interact with the actors to channel their feelings about dealing with Covid-19."
To read the full article click here.
Whether it was about faulty PPE or Infection Control...some of the stories we were told were devastating! Some were incredible, some were unbelievable, but most of all...the stories showcased the most inspiring people and demonstrated the power of the human spirit! So with that in mind, we decided to hold an event to celebrate the NHS workers...
The Red Carpet Event
On Thursday 26th May 2022 Wake the Beast held a Red Carpet Event and performed a one night only performance of 'In Our Own Words' at Jacksons Lane Theatre, in an uplifting and forward-looking reflection, illuminating the real people behind the ‘heroes’ narrative. It was a chance for us to say thank you to the 200+ staff who agreed to be interviewed about their experiences. And a wonderful opportunity for family and friends of staff, and the general public, to witness for the first time the inspiring stories from ‘behind the scenes’, at one of London’s busiest NHS Trusts.
The Live Streamed Event
We also live streamed the event, which was available for everyone to watch and free for all NHS Staff and Social Care Workers across the country, as a way to say thank you for their immense contribution and as a way to celebrate and elevate them. You can watch the live stream event here.
The Houses of Parliament
So what's next for 'In Our Own Words'? In November 2022, Wake the Beast have been invited to perform 'In Our Own Words' at the Houses of Parliament. We are over the moon, as this is an incredible opportunity for us to share with the decision makers of the country, the human stories of the NHS workers during the pandemic, giving them a platform to be heard.
And from early November 2022 we are excited to be touring "In Our Own Words" to various Whittington Health Community and Hospital sites, which will be free to all staff and volunteers.