“It was the bees, the bees” - Help us to stage an atmospheric site-specific theatre piece in the Museum of the former Bristol Lunatic Asylum

We did it!

On 8th Jul 2017 we successfully raised £90 with 3 supporters in 28 days



We need your help to bring this project to life. If we reach £3,000 we will be able to pay for the director and actors involved, materials and equipment (lighting and sound) and other production costs that we’ll need to create the atmosphere we want to evoke.

We have a proven track record of producing stylish, accessible and innovative art. We received Arts Council funding for the initial research and Unlocked exhibition in the Arcade and the Vestibules. We also received Creative Seed funding from Bristol City Council for running workshops in the museum. Now, drawing on the knowledge that we have gained, we want to pull this together in a final cohesive performance.


The Story

UNLOCKED is a project that imagines the patient’s voice, interweaving words found in the museum archives, accounts from former patients and experiences of people dealing with mental illness today. We aim to build a picture of what it is like to be a patient in an asylum.

UNLOCKED focuses on the tension in perception between ‘asylum’ as a place of safety and one of incarceration. The work examines the myths and common perceptions of the institution, the language surrounding emotion and the relationship between gender and mental (ill) health.


The Project

Bristol based artist collective alldaybreakfast is working with award winning director Lily Mcleish to create a live performance in the Glenside Hospital Museum.

alldaybreakfast have spent the past year researching and making artwork for an artist residency at Glenside Hospital Museum. As part of the residency each of us researched the archives, delved into the stories behind the museum’s collection of eclectic objects and listened to people’s stories and memories of working in the hospital or of being a patient there. We ran writing workshops and memory workshops, we used art to unlock people’s ideas about their emotions, we considered the myths surrounding both mental health and the mental institutions. This site-responsive theatre installation will be the culmination of this work.

Theatre director Lily Mcleish, together with the actors, will devise an immersive performance that responds to the museum’s collection, the space and the artworks made by alldaybreakfast during their residency in the museum.


The performance will take place in Glenside Hospital Museum, which is housed in a church that was built for the patients in the grounds of the original hospital. The museum holds artifacts ranging from 1861, when the Bristol Lunatic Asylum opened, until the hospital’s closure in 1994. The audience will follow the actors as they weave through the space; this is a chance to experience the fascinating and sometimes disturbing collection in a new light.

Attitudes and treatments towards the mentally ill have changed over the years, sometimes seen as a disorder that should be treated with compassion and rehabilitation at other times treated as a condition that could be cured with what now appear to be barbaric tools. Although the asylum was sometimes feared as a place of incarceration, it also provide a refuge, a place of safety.

alldaybreakfast - UNLOCKED opening event, 17 November 2016 from alldaybreakfast on Vimeo.

Who are we?

alldaybreakfast is an artist collective based in Bristol - Tommy Cha, Carol Laidler, Pat Jamieson and Anwyl Cooper-Willis.  We make socially engaged, site responsive art works and participatory events. We have been developing an innovative approach to public engagement by inviting other artists and visitors to respond creatively to our work. Selected exhibitions include: 2017 Changing Rooms, installation in Primordial Soup, Cleveland Pools, at Fringe Arts Bath. 2017 Unlocked, The Vestibules, Bristol City Hall. 2016 Unlocked, The Arcade Bristol. 2016 The Time Machine an alldaybreakfast happening/durational installation at Fringe Arts Bath. 2016 Flight, walk and performance talk at Language, Landscape and the Sublime conference, Dartington Hall. 2016 Beached installation in a beach hut at Dawlish Warren. 2015, Concrete Evidence, alldaybreakfast installation/performance at Plymouth Art Weekender. 2015 Vessel 10, the Galleries Broadmead. 2015 Vessel the Galleries Broadmead. 2015 Waterline, installation, walk and performance talk for Royal Geographic Society Conference, Exeter. 2014 Holy Souls at Fringe Arts Bath. 2013 Full of Empty, the Galleries, Broadmead.

Lily McLeish is a theatre director based in London. She trained with Katie Mitchell and has worked as Associate Director to her on productions across Europe. She has directing experience at the Young Vic, National Theatre, Royal Court and RSC amongst others. As Director her work includes a colder water than here for the Vaults Festival 2017, which was awarded the Origins Award for Outstanding New Work; a devised piece She Echoes for the University of Northampton; Housekeeping for Southwark Playhouse; Three Lives for Fringe Arts Bath; Absence for 5x5x5 at the Young Vic; This Despised Love for the RSC Fringe Festival; Old Times for the Artheater; Footfalls for the Severins-Burg-Theater. She is a creative fellow of the RSC and Associate Director of Fizzy Sherbet. As Associate Director, her work includes; Anatomy of a Suicide, Ophelia’s Zimmer and 2071 for the Royal Court; Schatten for the Schaubühne; 4.48 Psychosis, Traveling On One Leg, Happy Days for the Deutsches Schauspielhaus Hamburg. 



The Slit, Carol Laidler

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