Plea for stories from old Denbigh hospital

Did you have family or friends as patients at the old North Wales Hospital in Denbigh? Were you a member of staff?

Denbigh Hospital Postcard

The artisitc crew behind Anweledig, the theatre production inspired by the old mental hospital, is searching for people to share their stories of the site that closed in 1995.

Following a request by psychiatric doctors in Bangor, the artistic team used medical records from the former Victorian asylum as inspiration for a live theatre production.

Fast forward six years, and that story is set to hit Wales’ largest theatres early next year.

“We’re looking for personal stories from families and individuals who have in some way been affected by the hospital,” said Carl Owen from Frân Wen.

“All these personal experiences will be included as part of an art exhibition which will tour alongside the production and will give the audiences a better insight into the hospital’s legacy.”

The North Wales Hospital site has recently been purchased by Denbighshire Council, who are set to transform it into a housing-based development.

“Anweledig has been inspired by old medical records, but it would help us to get a fuller picture if we could hear from others who have experiences from the former Grade II listed asylum,” added Carl.

“We’ll share these stories with Anweledig’s visual artist Mirain Fflur, who’ll then transform the narrative into artwork for the exhibition that will run alongside every show.”

The exhibition and production will take place at Pontio Bangor (19 – 22 Feb), Aberystwyth Arts Centre (5 – 8 March), Sherman Theatre in Cardiff (12 – 13 March), Ffwrnes Llanelli (18 – 21 March) and Stiwt Rhosllanerchrugog (26 – 27 March).

Written by acclaimed author Aled Jones WIlliams, Anweledig follows the journey of Glenda, played by Ffion Dafis, as she struggles to deal with depression.

“In this powerful and harrowing play we get to follow Glenda’s fiercely personal anguish as she confronts the illness and faces life outside of hospital.” said the show’s director Sara Lloyd.

“How will she, her family and friends deal with the traumatic reality of recovery and will she find light at the end of the tunnel?

“The ultimate aim is to give a stage to this illness that is often hidden and kept out of sight.”

To share your North Wales Hospital stories please contact Carl.