This month, audiences are being invited to don headphones and immerse themselves in the head of Nellie Bly. It’s all part of So it Goes Theatre’s production of Ten Days in a Madhouse. It tells the true story of the ground-breaking female journalist, Nellie Bly.
Who’s Nellie Bly?
It’s 1887 in New York. Reporter Nellie Bly, the pioneer of investigative journalism, fakes insanity and is admitted to an asylum to expose the treatment of its patients. Her report shocked the world and shone a light on those society had chosen to forget.
Bly was an extraordinary human being. Though not the first female journalist, she certainly has a claim to be among the most ground-breaking. She worked tirelessly to shine a light in the dark recesses of society to bring social change.
She started her career at the Pittsburgh Chronicle. Later, she became world-famous for breaking Phileas Fogg’s fictional record, by travelling around the world in 72 days. But it was her first assignment for Joseph Pulitzer at The World where she really made a name for herself.
Downhearted, and on the brink of bankruptcy, Bly had almost given up on a career in New York. Then one morning, she talked her way into The World’s headquarters. There, she was given a seemingly impossible task. To get committed to the Blackwell Asylum and write an exposé. In reality, this offer was made to make her go away, with no expectation she would succeed. But Bly was underestimated.
“I said I could, and I would. And I did.”
Ten Days in a Madhouse
Ten Days in a Madhouse isn’t just just about Bly, it’s a warning to us all. It reminds us that true power isn’t measured by how institutions impose authority. But it’s by the compassion they show; especially in moments of crisis.
This play is based on and adapted from Bly’s book. The production is by the award-nominated creative team that produced Moby Dick. So it Goes Theatre brings Nellie Bly’s incredible true story to life with irreverent humour, immersive sound and spectacular video design. And by wearing headphones, the audience will be transported inside the head of Nellie Bly, as she undergoes a terrifying and life changing journey.
For more thought-provoking, immersive and unusual theatre suggestions, take a trip this way!
When: 14th June to 2nd July 2022
Where: Brockley Jack Studio Theatre, 410 Brockley Road, London SE4 2DH
£: Tickets cost £16 or £14 for concessions. Suitable for ages 14+ years