Mary Barnes
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Mary Barnes was an English artist and writer who suffered from schizophrenia, but later recovered. Mary Barnes died in 2001. This 1979 work by David Edgar chronicles the six-year journey through madness of Mary Barnes. Set in 1960s London and based on the personal accounts of Barnes (Laurie O’Brien) and therapist Joseph Berke, the work follows the middle-aged former nurse through her years as a resident of Kingsley Hall, a controversial residence/therapy facility headed by the even more controversial Scottish psychiatrist R.D. Laing. This play was presented at the Odyssey Theater Ensemble in 1982-83. Laurie O’Brien played in the lead role of Mary. Norbert had the role of her doctor, Eddie. Note: Laurie reprised her role in 1995, with an enthralled and delighted Mary Barnes in the audience.
Mary Barnes won several LA Awards including Best Play. Norbert won a Drama Logue award for Best Supporting Actor. Laurie O’Brien won an LA Drama Critics award for Best Actress.
Detail from Mary Barnes Painting Used with Permission Under Public Use Sharing
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