Mind The Gap

Written by Abi Bown / Produced by Theatre of Debate

Description

Tells the story of three disparate characters who find themselves stranded in a deserted underground station. Vijay is haunted by the memory of his violent past, while Dino escapes, using drugs to manufacture forgetfulness. Meanwhile Maya’s memories are crumbling away with the onset of Alzheimer’s.

Developed in partnership with the European Alliance of the Brain, supported by the Wellcome Trust and performed at the Royal Albert Hall.

The live production and debate of Mind the Gap toured schools throughout the UK and has been seen by 6,422 students and teachers. Y Touring/Mind the Gap had a one-week live residency at the Royal Albert Hall during National Science and Engineering Week in March 2012. The film of the production was screened at Norwich Cinema City, Liverpool Picturehouse, Stratford East (London) Picturehouse, Phoenix PictureHouse (Oxford), Cambridge Arts Picturehouse, Exeter Picturehouse, York City Screen Picturehouse, Harbour Lights Picturehouse (Southampton).

Details

Focus: The play and debate provide a starting point for learning about the importance of brain research for the enrichment of human life and for the understanding of diseases and disorders of the nervous system. In addition, in line with spiritual, social, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development the project aims to challenge the stigma of mental and neurological illnesses (including Alzheimer’s disease and post-traumatic shock) and living with a long-term illness.

Who is Mind the Gap suitable for: Both 14 – 16 and 16+ age groups. Teachers can use the project across subjects and curricula, specifically in Science, PSHE, Citizenship, English, Drama and SMSC – spiritual, social, moral, social and cultural development. Also suitable for Science Communicators, medical students, nurses, health workers and members of the public.

Length: 60 minutes

Full Film: Available through Theatre of Debate, with subtitles by Stagetext

Resources: Available for teachers and students, science communicators and health workers

Synopsis

Mind the Gap tells the story of a woman trying to remember and a boy trying to forget.
Three disparate people find themselves stranded on a deserted platform of an underground station.

Vijay – caught in an eternal moment of remembering a crime he’d sooner forget.

Maya – slowly descending into a world of chaos, her memory crumbling away, piece by jigsaw piece.

Dino – whose fractured psyche is soothed only by the drugs he takes and thoughts of escape.

They are ministered to by Silas, the lone kiosk attendant, self-styled healer and purveyor of Kit Kats and crisps. Together on platform 2B these four minds are compelled to confront the devastating nature of Alzheimer’s disease, the agony that is post-traumatic stress and just what it is that could drive someone to kill at random…

  • Does the brain define our sense of identity?
  • What if we could treat Alzheimer’s in the early stages?
  • Is growing old a disease?
  • What if we choose to selectively forget?
  • What if we could treat addiction at its origin in the brain?
  • What if we could predict through brain imaging?
  • Would we? Should we?

“Mind the Gap is a dramatically powerful and challenging exploration of the world of the 21st Century Brain, set in the claustrophobic environment of a London tube station.”

Mind the Gap – Winner of the British Science Association

“Mind the Gap has delivered against its objectives. The performance has proved to be a powerful way of both informing and stimulating debate. The students have found the performance both enjoyable and engaging and their knowledge and attitudes have changed as a result of the experience. Teachers regarded the performance as a useful aid to teaching and hosting performances has encouraged cross-curricular working in schools.”

“…clearly the performance is linked to science. Its stuff we do talk about in the current GCSE curriculum. We talk about drugs testing, and it kind of links into the whole idea of research, ethics and SMSC – which is having a massive push in schools at the moment.”

“Dear Y Touring, I am compelled to write and let you know how marvellous Mind The Gap was when I saw it at York Picturehouse Cinema 17.3.11 (recorded from The Albert Hall). Every single issue to do with mental health is contained in the most perfect piece of Art! It was moving, challenging, provocative, entertaining, compassionate, informative and linguistically spot on. Everybody deserves an entitlement to see this production and I am determined to press for it to be available as a DVD. The aftershow discussion was also stimulating and enjoyable. Bravo! Please pass on my sincere congratulations to everyone involved! Thank you.”

“I enjoyed participating in this event. The audience for our event was made up entirely of motivated adults. Mainly 60+, some with concerns about their own memories and experience of caring for people with Alzheimer’s. The concept works well – the audience were fully engaged, and the content of the play prompted them to ask interesting and important questions and to share their own views on ethical and scientific issues in memory. I think this is an excellent was of engaging a wide audience in some key questions”

Developed in partnership with

The Association of Medical Research Charities

Supported by:
The Wellcome Trust
The Royal Albert Hall
Central YMCA
The Hobson Charity

Presented on screen in partnership with:
Picturehouse Cinemas
The National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA).

Created in collaboration with

Dr Illina Singh, Reader in Bioethics and Society, London School of Economics and Political Science

Dr David Dexter, Reader in NeuroPharmacology,Dept of Medicine, Imperial College

Prof Steven Rose

Prof Richard Ashcroft, MA (Cantab) PhD (Cantab) FHEA, FIBiol Professor of Bioethics

Experts both contributed to the development of the production and to the live debates in cinemas.

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Extension activities