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Jean’s dark story has a ray of hope
A former patient of High Royds Hospital will read from her memoir during the final week of fringe events at Ilkley Literature Festival.
Jean Davison will appear at Ilkley Playhouse tomorrow to talk about her treatment at the Menston psychiatric hospital during the 1960s, when she was reduced to a zombie-like state through electric shock treatment and drugs.
Admitted as a teenager after she complained to her GP of feeling low, she managed to check out of the institution and go on to gain a first-class degree in psychology and literature. She penned her story in The Dark Threads and now works for a charity affiliated to Mind, helping people with mental health problems. She will be joined on stage by Angel Heart, who will read from a collection of her short stories, and members of Leeds Survivors Poetry Group.
As part of the fringe programme, White Wells tenant Mark Hunnebell will talk about the iconic building on the edge of Ilkley Moor at 3pm tomorrow, covering its 18th century origins, modern-day renovation and the fascination with hydropathy.
He will be followed later in the evening by a performance of Shakespeare’s sonnets by Five Voices.
The final fringe event will see members of the Yorkshire Art Circus writer development programme reunite for Writers’ Group Exposed, on Saturday night All fringe events are free.