Reflection on IMH Production: “8 – 5”

About a month ago, we invited some ambassadors to a theatrical production by Institute of Mental Health (IMH). Directed by Dr Chris Tan and produced by Dr Lambert, the performance tells the stories of mental patients. The production was fully casted by personnel from IMH, including doctors, nurses and patients. Our ambassador, Michelle Kee, shares with us her thoughts about the production.

IMH first presented this production, “8 – 5” in 2013, and again this year as a fundraiser for the Woodbridge Hospital Charity Fund. Unlike your usual theatre performances, this one is fully casted by non-actors. Despite that, the performance was presented professionally and has a certain level of artistic quality. Furniture, props, and casts come together to bring life to the stage, presenting various scenarios consecutively.

Since the production was put up by IMH personnel, the theme revolves around mental illnesses and conditions. Three mental conditions were showcased during the performance: Dementia, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Schizophrenia. Dealing with her beloved grandfather who has dementia, Dawn faced a dilemma on getting him to stay put at home or sending him to a nursing day care centre. While she tries to weigh out her choices, her friend Naz faced difficulties in keeping composure as she fuss over things easily. On the other hand, Steph is an attractive office lady whose life was constantly disrupted by the voices in her head. Luckily with some help, they were all able to recover and lead better lives afterwards.

Even though these medical terms are not foreign to public members, they may not have fully comprehended the symptoms and consequences of such conditions. Working closely with patients with such illnesses everyday, the casts were able to execute the roles accurately. The production was very informative and increases audiences’ understanding towards the mental illnesses. All in all, it was an interesting and great performance!

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