Publish date: 21 December 2023

Patients from the Making Music course delivered a powerful and moving performance this week in the Exchange building at Ashworth. Playing in a band, acting in sketches on stage and singing solo, patients celebrated their treatment progress in front of an audience of peers, staff and guests. Some presented their artwork, including computer art, and staff gave short talks to recount patient skills learned with the team.


The promotional event was held eight months after The Life Rooms first opened in High Secure and involved 19 patients and 21 different acts. Engagement with the courses has been consistently high and very well received.

Tutor Darren Brown says: “We started in the morning with a technical rehearsal to work on practical performance issues, entrances and exits between ‘acts’, sound checking the full band featuring singers, electric guitar, bass and drums and ensuring lighting was correct, followed by a full dress rehearsal. The teamwork was exceptional in getting the show over the line after many months of rehearsals and planning.”

The show included original songs written and performed by patients from the Making Music course, supported by staff also playing instruments, drama sketches from the Confidence Through Drama course, artworks exhibited and discussed by art course patients and supportive staff as well as examples of work by patients attending digital art and digital music courses.

Senior leads including Elaine Darbyshire and Micheal Crilly attended the afternoon show and there was a second evening show for patients from across the thirteen hospital wards. Elaine and Michael want to thank Steve, Tracey, Darren and all the staff whose time and skills in supporting patients paid off brilliantly on the day.

After Christmas, Life Rooms leads will hold discussions with patient groups in order to gather qualitative data to inform future events