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Poppy Shakespeare 31 Mar 2008
Poppy Shakespeare
Clare Allan explores madness and sanity as her novel is made into a Channel 4 film

Last year, Clare Allan published an unusual debut novel. Called Poppy Shakespeare, it told the story of ‘N’, a woman who is in and out of psychiatric institutions. Every day she frequents a day care hospital in London and there she sits smoking in the common room, trading meds and comparing ‘mad money’ benefits with the other patients. Their biggest fear is to be discharged and have to deal with the world outside. One day Poppy Shakespeare walks in, who doesn’t seem like the others: she protests her sanity and fights to get out. But she discovers that in order to be declared sane, you have to prove your madness first. Now Clare Allan’s novel has been made into a film which is being shown on Channel 4 this evening.

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