The Dissociation of Shirley Mason A question of identity

The Dissociation of Shirley Mason

Weston Studio, Bristol Old Vic

Key Information
  • Dates Thu 28 Feb 2019 - Sat 16 Mar 2019
  • Location Weston Studio, Bristol Old Vic
  • Evenings

    8.00 PM on Thur 28 February, Fri 1, Sat 2, Fri 8 and Thur 14 March.

  • Matinees

    3.00 PM on Thur 28, Thur 7  and Sat 9 March.

    2.00 PM on Sat 16 March.

  • Ticket price

    £15 / £13 / £11

Buy Tickets

Part of a season of new plays that have been developed by Bristol Old Vic.

By Isabella Culver
Directed by Peter Leslie Wild

Shirley Mason is a young woman of uncertain identity – buffeted by the expectations of family and church in the American town of her childhood.

Later, as an art student in New York she feels her personality disintegrating, and a psychiatrist takes a keen interest. Dr Cornelia B Wilbur may have stumbled upon a landmark case to make her reputation.

As the two women’s lives become entwined, lines blur between psychiatry and art, case studies and tall stories, real hurt and false memory.

Inspired by the real-life case of a woman diagnosed as having 16 personalities. This premiere production is an American tale spanning the decades up to the 1970s, with questions for us all about where our true selves reside.

Duration: 2 hr including interval
Recommended age: 14+
Trigger warnings: discussion of psychological distress
Strong language: very occasional


Image Credit: Hide the Shark

I find it immensely satisfying passing on the baton and continuing the culture of generosity of the many people who taught me. It’s a privilege and pleasure to nurture and teach so many talented young people and see them flourish in their career. Cathy Stewart, Head of Scenic Art