A one-day event, hosted by Queen Mary University London’s, Peopling the Palaces, and community arts organisation Theatre Troupe, exploring issues of psychological and neurobiological attachment in relation to theatre and the arts.

Date: 22/04/2024 – 22/04/2024


This is a chance for clinical, arts and public health
practitioners and academics to come together to debate issues around health and
wellbeing.   It will ask whether theatre, with its propensity for
connecting through human contact, and striving for Utopian communities through
a company or “troupe” model, could offer opportunities for good neurological
attachment for those who have experienced trauma and loss.  Arts and
health agendas are receiving more and more attention, especially through public
health agendas, and research centres; theatre, however, remains less explored
than other art forms.  Theatre has the potential to embrace all arts
disciplines, and therefore combine the creative labour of the collective
towards a common humanity.  Why is its position in research marginalised
compared to music and visual art? 


Professor Kam Bhui

A picture of arts and health
work in the UK

Dr Tamara Russell: 

A neuro-cognitive model for
understanding mechanisms of creative change

Drs Sylvan Baker & Maggie

Methods of dialogue in the 21st century
Care system.

The day will give space for
inter-disciplinary engagement, networking and debate, as we explore a future
for mental health treatment through the arts, performance inspired by science,
and the need for the humanity that theatre can reflect in our systems of health
and social care.  We are excited to engage delegates from a wide range of
disciplines to explore:

  • Neurobiological
    & psychological attachment
  • Arts and
    wellbeing agendas
  • The
    interconnectivity between clinical, public health and arts scholarship and
  • Performance
    connectivity – minds and bodies meeting in time and space
  • Science
    in theatre and performance
  • Neuro-aesthetics

The conference will be at:

Campus, Queen Mary University London,

London, E1 4NS

£15/£12 (concessions)








Attachment Theory, rooted in
the work of Kelly (1959) Bowlby (1969/1989, 1976, 1988), and Ainsworth et al
(1979), has had a resurgence of interest and investigation over the last
fifteen years, with neuro-biologists (Schore 1994, Siegal 1999, LeDoux 2002,
Cozolino 2006) evidencing the need for good attachment in infancy and
adolescence using brain-imaging.  Historically limited to the
relationships between children and their parents, there is now physiological
evidence suggesting that positive attachment in later childhood, adolescence
and even adulthood can heal previous psychological and neurological damage and
that non-parental supportive figures of influence (Rutter (1981, Critterdon
2008, Baim/Morrison 2011) which may include teachers, friends, social workers
and other nurturing care-givers in a child’s life.  Theatre/Drama has an
established relationship with psychological and therapeutic processes,
including accredited therapy models of dramatherapy or psychodrama, Applied
Theatre models such as Playback Theatre (Fox) and Boal’s Rainbow of Desire, as
well the reputation of theatre-texts and the performative act for exploring
human psychology and taking spectators on a journey of catharsis
The role of theatre as providing a safe attachment-ready community, in the form
of a company/collective/troupe of artists is less explored.  What is the
value of a theatre community to supporting individuals who have experienced
mental distress?  How could theatre be protective against potential
damage?  What would a protective ‘Theatre Troupe’ look like? 



Professor Kam Bhui

Professor Bhui works as a clinical academic psychiatrist in
London. He qualified in Medicine at the United Medical Schools of Guy’s & St
Thomas in 1988, and subsequently worked at the Maudsley, Institute of
Psychiatry, Guy’s, King’s, St Thomas’ Hospitals and Medical Schools being
appointed to his first consultant clinical academic post as a senior lecturer
in 2000.  He was appointed Professor in 2003 at QMUL. Previously he was a
Wellcome Training Fellow in Health Services Research and Senior Medical Officer
in the policy research programme at Department of Health. He is Director
at the Cultural Consultation Service at QMUL (Culturalconsultion.org) and
Director of MSc Psychological Therapies, MSc Transcultural Mental Healthcare at
QMUL and MSc Mental Health & Law.  He is also the co-founder of Careif
(www.careif.org), an international mental
health charity that promotes work for young people and their health through
culture, sport and arts. Professor Bhui is President of WACP and Public Health
Lead at the Royal College of Psychiatrists He is editor of British Journal of
Psychiatry, and International Journal of Culture and Mental Health.He is on the
editorial board of Transcultural Psychiatry, Ethnicity and Health, Int.J.
Social Psychiatry, and Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology.


Dr. Tamara Russell MSc,
PhD, D. Clin. Psych.

As a clinical psychologist,
martial artist and neuroscientist, Tamara brings a unique, multiple perspective
to her mindfulness teaching, therapy, and research. Her particular interest is
in the embodiment of mindfulness and this lies at the heart of her two training
programmes “The Art of Mindfulness” and “Body In Mind Training” which are
offered as courses and short trainings to the general public, schools,
corporations, and within the health sector. Tamara’s work cuts across
disciplines and sectors, bringing innovative, practical, body-based mindfulness
training to individuals of all ages and abilities.  Tamara works as a
mindfulness consultant and trainer in a variety of settings include education
and health worldwide.  Tamara is the Director of the Mindfulness Centre of
Excellence, London.  This organization is dedicated to innovation and
thought leadership in the field of mindfulness with a particular focus on
creativity and mindfulness teaching methods.  She is a visiting Lecturer
at King’s College London, lecturing on the clinical and neuroscientific aspects
of mindfulness to students across a range of post graduate courses and
conducting research projects. Tamara’s clinical and academic research explores
the link between movement, mind, and the brain. At the heart of this work is
the kung fu principle that our training (and our mindfulness) can and is in
everything we do.  By working with the body and movement, we are tapping
into the most fundamental of brain processes that underpin all our mental
actvity and subsequent actions in the world.  Working with contemporary
dancers and those in the creative arts, Tamara’s work explores how we can learn
and share experiences of embodiment across disciplines to improve the pedagogy
of mindfulness.


Dr Sylvan Baker

Dr. Sylvan Baker is an Applied
Arts Practitioner, Researcher and Director with 25 years experience of using
arts practice to work with communities and young people. He has worked across
the UK and collaborated on international projects in Europe and Latin America.
Sylvan is committed to widening the scope of practice research to instigate
dialogue with the communities that are often the subjects of applied arts
research but rarely the co researchers. He is interested in developing way in
which the knowledge held in universities can extend beyond the boundaries of
the campus and into a range of publics. This may be across academic
disciplines, research sectors or with the wider community. He is excited about
the potential offered by the Artistic fellowship to work with practitioners
from outside applied arts and across other university faculties.  His
current research with Dr Maggie Inchley from QMUL Drama, ‘The Verbatim
Formula’, uses verbatim practice to engage with care experienced young people
and explore methods for dialogue on the needs of the care system in the 21st Century.
He is also developing two further practice research projects: Immersive
Democracy – an applied arts methodology to promote authentic engagement for all
stakeholders in school communities; The Evaluation Project – research that
explores ways in which practice research can use creative methods for
evaluation, rather than step outside the discipline for validation.  His
future projects will explore the performance of trolling and the intersection
of disability art and mental health.



Dr Maggie Inchley

Dr Inchley’s research
investigates the articulation of identity in contemporary writing and
performance. She focuses specifically on the voice, attending to how writers
and their processes script voices,
how vocal performance is created
and delivered
, and how audiences hear, listen and respond to voices. In
articles in the journal Contemporary
Theatre Review
 and Theatre
Research International,
 she has explored the cultural
audibility of young people, the ways in which theatre has mediated the identity
of women who have killed children, and the performance of testimony of violence
against women in globalised contexts. Her recent book, Voice and New Writing, 1997-2007,
uses the idea of voicescapes to
understand the ways that voices articulated identity in theatre and politics
during the New Labour government.  She is currently exploring the gendered
aspects of political rhetoric and how the voices of prominent female
politicians such as Nicola Sturgeon and Margaret Thatcher are represented and
performed in ways that reveal political and cultural interest.  Dr Inchley
is also researching how socially engaged performance can provide opportunities
for culturally marginalised voices to be heard. Including the collaborative
project, The Verbatim
 with Sylvan Baker for Peoples’ Palace Projects.


The conference will be at:


Queen Mary University London

London, E1 4NS


£15/£12 (concessions)


Please book via our Events Page
on our website:



"Just to say a huge thanks ... I am looking forward to progressing with this project thanks to your support, advice and guidance"

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