Operating Theatre produces thought-provoking drama on health and social issues using professional writers, directors and actors.

Their work is for anybody with an interest in health – patients, professionals, students and policy makers. It covers a wide variety of themes. The plays are short and can be performed in any setting. They can either be presented on their own or as part of a package with accompanying stimulating and creative workshops. They also have work available on film.

Their first learning disability play, Out of Sight, was commissioned by the then North East Strategic Health Authority in 2012 as a response to the Winterbourne View scandal.

Out of Sight is set in the ante-room of a court where a former care assistant faces assault charges as a result of her treatment of those with learning disability at the home where she worked. She is confronted by the mother of a young man who was abused in the home. The two are joined by the female commissioner who awarded the contract to the home and who the mother also holds responsible for what happened.

Tense, emotional and thought-provoking, Out of Sight was created after considerable research talking to family and carers of the learning disabled, plus professionals involved in their care.

It was presented a number of times in the North East and the Midlands and subsequently filmed. The DVD of Out of Sight is now available through their website; price £30.00 with a leaflet suggesting ways in which it could be used in a workshop environment.  You can see some of this great play here. The DVD was shown on the 18th of February in an all-day showcase of their work at the British Institute of Learning Disability (BILD) in Birmingham.

In addition they now have a new learning disability play, For the Best, on the subject of annual health checks for people with learning disability. This was also presented at BILD in February. In addition it has also been booked for NHS England’s Improving the Uptake and Quality of Annual Health Checks for People with Learning Disability event in March and the British Institute of Learning Disability’s conference, Your Way, Your Way, Your Say conference, in Milton Keynes on Friday March 27th, more details about this event are available from BILD.

You can find lots of details of Operating Theatre, the great work they are doing and upcoming projects on their website here.