The Hearth Centre is a centre for Health, Education and the Humanities with Art at the Heart. Hearth uses the arts to animate key issues in mental health, social care and the humanities, and promote well being - which we do through theatre productions and literary events and courses.

What we've got in progress

Revolving Door 2019

"Revolving Door is the most moving and thought provoking play on mental health I’ve ever seen” - Jonny Benjamin MBE

A coroner conducts an inquest into the suicide of Martin – a nineteen year-old gay man. He calls a GP, a psychiatrist, a mental health nurse and Martin’s mother as witnesses and asks the question: Why did this young man, with apparently everything to live for, take his own life? But this is no ordinary hearing… the coroner is Martin himself. 

This Autumn The Hearth Centre presented Revolving Door by Polly Wright at The Bedlam Festival 2019, hosted at The Rep on 8th October. The Bedlam Festival is a showcase for Theatre engaging with the Arts and Mental Health. After the play consultant psychiatrist Dr Erin Turner talked with award-winning mental health  campaigner Jonny Benjamin MBE about suicide prevention which was followed by a Q&A with the audience. 

As well as the performance at the Rep, Revolving Door was also performed for nursing students at Birmingham City University and trainee psychiatrists at the Uffculme Centre as part of the Bedlam Festival Symposium, met with fantastic feedback and acclaim:

"The play was fascinating to watch and prompted a great deal of thought both for myself and the rest of the audience who were a mix of psychiatric registrars, students and allied health professionals. The play dealt with many issues but a particular issue I chose to reflect on was the issue of ‘blame’ following suicide or any mental health disorder. In the play through the use of a coroners court ‘witnesses’ were called and examined both by the judge and the spirit of the patient to ascertain their culpability in his suicide. I related this to experiences I have had with patients including those detailed above where patients often attribute their illness to a specific person or event, and I would often find myself querying the veracity of this claim. Not calling into doubt the beliefs of the patient but the truth of if that event had not occurred would the patient still be in this current position. I spoke to some of the other doctors about this at the event and we discussed the interplay between external and internal factors in causing mental health. I found this whole experience both fascinating and enjoyable to watch but also helpful for exploring my own ideas around why mental ill-health occurs."

- Medical student from the Bedlam Festival Symposium

Friends of Enemies 

In March 2019, Hearth Centre director Polly Wright toured her Arts Council England funded Work In Progress play as a series of rehearsed readings. Working with a fantastic cast, the readings were presented at Pentabus in Shropshire, Theatr Clwyd in North Wales, MAC in Birmingham and Exeter Street Hall in Brighton. After a successful run we look forward to bringing you more updates on the progress of the play. Read the story so far here

© Cardboard Zebra Creative 2019

Find out more...

Watch our film made with Cardboard Zebra Creative about the impact of theatre and literature on health and wellbeing.

Stay up to date

10-11 Dec 2019 A Christmas Carol (a reduced version) and A Child’s Christmas in Wales

At: Oriel y Parc National Park Visitor’s Centre, St Davids SA62 6NW. Tues. Dec 10, 2.00 pm -3.00 pm A Christmas Carol.Enjoy this version of the all time ghostly classic reduced to under an hour to get you into the spirit of Christmas. £5 per personWednesday Dec, 11 7 pm-8.30Our reduced Christmas Carol with a sprig of Dylan Thomas’s A Child’s Christmas in Wales thrown in. Purchase mince pies and...

Literary Study Days 2020

Hearth Literary Study Days are run by Hearth Centre director Polly Wright with a guest host. These collaborative events give you the opportunity to explore notable classic literature and the art behind them. We will be hosting a programme of Literary Study Days in early 2020. Updates coming soon!

8 Oct 2019 Revolving Door at The Bedlam Festival

This Autumn The Hearth Centre will be presenting Revolving Door at The Bedlam Festival 2019 hosted at The Rep on 9th October. The Bedlam Festival is a showcase for theatre engaging with the Arts and Mental Health.

21 August 2019 Wuthering Heights in Imagery and Words

Who is Heathcliff? Attractive Byronic hero or sadistic psychopath? Who is Cathy?  Heroine in floaty dresses or anorexic adolescent in love with her childhood? The Hearth Centre presents Wuthering Heights  in images and words at Oriel y Parc  High St, Saint David's SA62 6NW at 7.30pm on Wednesday 21st August.

David Harewood – Psychosis and Me

It was wonderful to see Dr Erin Turner speaking to David Harewood in Psychosis and Me on the BBC! Erin commissioned our play Revolving Door and works regularly with The Hearth Centre in her capacity as a Consultant Psychiatrist. David Harewood had a psychotic breakdown and was sectioned in his 20s. David traces his steps, meeting young people living with psychosis and the NHS professionals who treat them. Psychosis and...

13 April 2019 Literary Study Day – ‘When Paula Met Charlotte’

How did one of the greatest artists of the 21st century respond to one of the greatest writers of the 19th? On 13 April 2019 at the Birmingham Midland Institute (BMI) The Hearth Centre’s director Polly Wright and poet and artist Margaret Markworthy presented Paula Rego’s 25 extraordinary lithographs of Jane Eyre, and read extracts from the nation’s favourite novel.