Voices from the Knitting Circle - Online Screening

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A chilling glimpse into the secret worlds and stolen years inside the long care asylums.

About this Event

Following a successful run at cinemas and film festivals, we are delighted to announce that Voices from the Knitting Circle will be screened online this autumn, launching on Monday 5 October at 7pm.

About the film

An award-winning documentary that provides a chilling glimpse into the secret worlds and stolen years inside the long care asylums.

Were all these people truly Mad, Bad and Dangerous? Who is next?

“It was love and mischief that saw us through.” Mary, aged 80

Julie McNamara created The Knitting Circle in 2011, a theatre production based on the testimonies of people who survived the long care asylums closed in the 1980s. Each of the actors were matched with people who lived or worked inside long stay hospitals.

This short documentary film follows the voices of some of the extraordinary people who entrusted us with their life stories. What reverberates is the extraordinary resilience of the human spirit, and the art of laughter amongst the tears.

Voices from The Knitting Circle will premiere online on Monday 5 October 2020, at 7pm (GMT) via our YouTube channel and our Facebook page.

Best Documentary over 30 minutes and Best of Festival

17th Picture this…film festival, Canada 2018

“Despite the hideous acts these individuals were subjected to, ‘Voices’ imbues them with a magnificent fortitude that leaves their dignity for-ever intact.”

James Zaatka-Haas, Disability Arts Online

“…very engaging… innovative camera work… strong acting… brilliant imagery… creatively put together… human emotions exposed… authen-tic…”

Jury comments from Picture This… Film Festival 2018

“This was an amazing film, tender, brutal, beautiful and joyful, every community should see.”

“When stories surface from conspiracy and cowardice into the light of day the sun burns bright.”

Audience members, Hackney Picturehouse screening, June 2018


The film includes captions and audio description.

Trigger warning

Please note this documentary includes stories of sexual assault, rape, abuse and bullying.

Creative team

Director: Julie McNamara

Camera Operator and Editor: Zeynep Dagli

Additional Editing Services: Lesley Willis

Executive Producer : Chas De Swiet

Production Manager: Rhiannon Kelly

Interviewer: Rachel High

Storytellers: Iris Noden, Naomi Luke, Paul, Derek McCarthy, Rosie Clarke, Mary Robins, Shriya Mehta, Priscilla Surfaz, Gertrude Grey, Miriam, Betty

Actors: Penelope Freeman, Deni Francis, Mandy Colleran

Additional images provided by Mark Davis

Audio Description script Louise Fryer

Audio description: Rhiannon Kelly

Titling: Joshua Branson, Shaza Hamza

Find out more about Voices from the Knitting Circle

Image description:

Still from the film showing former resident, Nan, in a kitchen. She rocks, poking out her tongue, as she knits. Nan is played by Penelope Freeman.

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