Real patients, real stories…

What makes ‘Dr Hills’ Casebook’ such a moving narrative is the collection of real experiences from the patients of the Norfolk County Asylum. The characters are brought to life by the dedicated research of the participants paired with the remarkable story-telling of the UpShoot Theatre Company, as we get to experience what living in the Victorian asylum was truly like. The play reflects on mental health today through the lens of Dr Hills’ practice. Using history and theatre, it tackles vital issues about the quality of care available to people now, as demand grows and services retreat.

A Q & A at the end of performances is a chance to hear from participants about their experience of co-creation, from writer Belona Greenwood, director Laila France and lead researcher Richard Johnson. Other members of the project team, including Norfolk County Archivist Gary Tuson and the Restoration Trust’s Director Laura Drysdale will be on hand to answer questions about Change Minds.

To book your free tickets for the upcoming screening of ‘Dr Hills’ Casebook,’ please click here:

Dr Hills’ Casebook: The story of a doctor and the people he cared for

‘Dr Hills’ Casebook’ is a play from UpShoot Theatre Company, developed from our Dr Hills’ Casebook partnership project with Norfolk Record Office and Change Minds, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and NORAH. From the research of Richard Johnson and members of the project, and the writing of Belona Greenwood, comes a story about Dr. William Charles Hills, the Medical Superintendent of Norfolk County Asylum from 1861-1887.

The play tells the story of how Dr. Hills cared for his many patients, in a period of great poverty and negligible health and social care, and compares it with mental health treatment today. Richard’s interest was ignited by ‘the humane and gentle approach that Dr. Hills took in his work’, and it led to ‘what has become 2 years of research at the Norfolk Record Office into an inspiring man’. Richard produced an Aide Memoire documenting life in the asylum and is creating a future biography of Dr. Hills.

A filmed production of ‘Dr Hills’ Casebook’ will be streaming live on the following dates:

  • Thursday 17th June 2021 – 7.30pm
  • Friday 18th June 2021 – 7.30pm
  • Sunday 20th June 2021 – 7.30pm
  • Thursday 24th June 2021 – 7.30pm
  • Friday 25th June 2021 – 7.30pm

These events are free to attend, they will be streaming on Zoom and will include a live Q&A with members of the project.

Tickets are available here:

For more information about ‘Dr Hills’ Casebook’, please visit the UpShoot Theatre Company website here:

You can also read Richard Johnson’s Aide Memoire on Dr Hills here:

The poster for Dr Hills' Casebook, with a sepia old map of Norfolk behind a blurred image of men and women in Victorian period clothing. The poster reads "Dr Hills' Casebook: A story of a Doctor and the people he cared for. He showed compassion in a Victorian Asylum, leaving an extraordinary legacy for today. Streaming June 2021. Premiere 17th June 7:30pm, 18th June 7:30pm, 20th June 7:30pm, 24th June 7:30pm, 25th June 7:30pm." A section in smaller print at the bottom of the poster reads, "A new play by Belona Greenwood with Dr Hills' Casebook members, produced and performed by UpShoot Theatre Company, filmed by Julian Claxton."

A Reason to Celebrate! (with John Durrant)

BREAKING NEWS! To celebrate our recent grant from The National Lottery Community Fund, we are delighted to share this heart-warming blog entry by John Durrant, a driving force behind the Burgh Castle Almanac and one of our Expert Advisory Board members. If you would like to read more of John’s entries, you can visit his blog here:


Hey everyone. I hope you’re all well and in good mental health today. I’m going to talk to you about some very exciting news I received on Friday, 19 March, by phone call…

Continue reading “A Reason to Celebrate! (with John Durrant)”

Conservation for Wellbeing Exhibition

Please click on the link to see the exhibition created by Conservation for Wellbeing

Helen Lindsay, who coordinated the project, curated this fantastic exhibition with Conservation for Wellbeing members. The slide show was produced to celebrate and document the experience of everyone involved.

Participants from the mental health support charity ‘SMART’ were invited to join a welcoming group of people at London Metropolitan Archives to take part in a pilot project.  C4W combined paper conservation activities, the archives from St Luke’s Hospital in Islington and research into the wellbeing outcomes for participants, staff and partner organisations.

Thanks to Helen, everyone who came along to the sessions, our partners and our research team – Art Therapist Daisy Rubinstein and UCL’s Dr Helen Thomson. Thanks also to City Bridge Trust, who fund the project.

It’s not quite over yet. Daisy is writing up her research, and that will be used for outcomes evaluation and publication.