Discover an asylum’s hidden history: Dumfries’ Crichton Royal. Patients’ and staff’s first-hand stories are shared, in words and songs, as you tour the landscaped estate.
‘Up the Middle Road’ is the local name for the former Crichton Royal Asylum, founded 1838 in Dumfries. This event shares its lived experiences of mental health – until recently, buried in a culture of silence. Through words and music, the voices of former patients, nurses, support staff and those who grew up on site will be heard, where they happened: reflecting life from the 1930s to 1990s. Recorded by the event director, Valentina Bold, as part of an oral history project, these powerful, authentic accounts are compassionate and inspiring: stories of resilience and recovery.
The event brings together storyteller Amanda Edmiston, who specialises in healing tales, award-winning tour guide Kathleen Cronie and internationally-renowned singers and musicians, Emily Smith and Jamie Maclennan. This dynamic performance takes place out of doors. Audience and performers pass together through the centre of the Crichton’s parkland, rock gardens, sports fields and woods, pausing by the historic buildings – which many remember as a ‘village’.
Performances are free for young people within Dumfries & Galloway, and for the former patients and staff. Provision will be made for disabled access and one performance will be filmed and shared online.