Donna Franceschild

Plays by Donna Franceschild

Takin' Over the Asylum

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

When Ready Eddie McKenna, Soul Survivor and replacement window salesman, arrives to re-launch a defunct hospital radio station in a psychiatric unit, he turns more than the ramshackle station upside-down. The whisky-drinking would-be DJ meets the irrepressible Campbell whose dreams seem untouched by reality, the hyper-organised Rosalie who is fighting a one-woman war against germs, the electronic genius Fergus whose voices tell him he’s a stupid bastard, and the brittle and self-destructive Francine.

As the patients battle with perception and prejudice as much as illness, Eddie, armed only with his soul music record collection, transforms their lives as well as his own in this hilarious and profoundly moving play.

The world premiere of Takin’ Over the Asylum was first performed at the Citizens Theatre, Glasgow on 14 February 2013 before transferring to the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh on 13 March 2013.

Donna Franceschild is a British-based television writer and dramatist, originally from the US. She came to public attention as the writer of Takin' Over the Asylum, a six-part series for BBC television about a hospital radio station in a psychiatric hospital. It was first broadcast in 1994 and starred Ken Stott and David Tennant. The show won the 1995 BAFTA award for Best Serial and Best Editing, RTS Award for Best Writer, Mental Health in the Media Award and the Scottish BAFTA for Best Serial and for Best Writer. For theatre, Donna has written Quartet (Òran Mor 2006), And The Cow Jumped Over the Moon (Traverse Theatre & tour 1990) and several other plays for companies including the Tricycle Theatre and Etcetera Theatre. Recently, Donna Franceschild has been writing plays for BBC Radio 4 with Kirsty Williams producing. These plays include The Ca'Doro Cafe, an adaptation of John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, Lost in Plain Sight and, most recently, an acclaimed adaptation of The Grapes of Wrath.