February 20, 2018 The Edge

Plans Afoot For A New Project Marking The NHS At 70 With Take Back Theatre.

Over the next few months The Edge Theatre creative team Janine Waters and Simon Waters are teaming up with Manchester’s Take Back theatre to celebrate 70 years of the NHS at Trafford General Hospital, where it all began. A grant from the Arts Council has allowed us to begin the research and development phase of the project, this involves delivering workshops in the hospital to find out amazing stories from staff and patients over its 70-year history, figuring out how to present their stories later down the line, writing funding bids, and doing lots of research about the birthplace of the NHS.

We have been running drama, photography and writing workshops with the wonderful staff at Trafford General and will continue to do so over the coming weeks to discover more stories. The workshops have been a roaring success so far and have been great chance for the staff to delve into something they may have never done before, as well as a chance improve their confidence and well-being, with plenty of belly laughs along the way.

“I now understand how actors great a natural high from performing, the first words that come to mind are scary, then heart beating, stomach churning, but also good communication and really listening to other members, a lot of laughter and a great sense of achievement. Well who knew that there is a bit of an actor in us all. I believe this type of workshop would benefit the health and well being of lots of staff who have the pressures of working within the NHS.” – Staff Member

Background of The Project:

Trafford General (was Park Hospital) is known as the birthplace of the NHS. Nye Bevan was given the keys marking the start of the National Health Service in a symbolic ceremony alongside a ‘guard of honour’ of Nurses.

Sylvia Diggorythen 13, was the first NHS patient. Before she died, Sylvia said: “Mr Bevan asked me if I understood the significance of the occasion and told me that it was a milestone in history – the most civilised step any country had ever taken, and a day I would remember for the rest of my life – and of course, he was right.”

At a time when the NHS is in crisis, we want to celebrate this incredible institution and fight for its protection.

A Bit About Us

The Edge is a theatre (both a receiving and producing house), a thriving arts Centre, a charity working with homeless people, vulnerable adults and young people to use high quality arts to transform lives.

Take Back are a political theatre collective in Manchester, co-founded by actor (and Patron of The Edge) Julie Hesmondhalgh, writer Becx Harrison and visual artist Grant Archer. We are so excited to be partnering and (funding dependent) presenting an amazing collaboration in the summer, it’s been an incredible experience so far.

Stay tuned for more and be sure to check out Take Back Theatre and the brilliant work they do.


Want to tell your NHS story? Get in touch with Janine: Janine@edgetheatre.co.uk.