WHO CARES? is a participatory theatre project focused on dementia carers with 2 core themes: Identity and Struggle. Swamped by responsibilities, carers often find there is little room left for them, their own identity. Their story gets lost.
We will devise workshops and 2 shows that explore their predicament. We ask: Who or what makes me, me? We will answer this in entertaining, comic, caring and provocative ways. Our aim is to promote a greater understanding of dementia, give a clear voice to carers and provide a greater appreciation of their priceless contribution.
The project has two interrelated elements:
Workshops in Clowning and Story-telling to invigorate, support, encourage and empower carers to voice their concerns and to create a show, EVERYBODY HAS A STORY. WHAT’S YOURS? Using Clowning, Film and Storytelling this will reveal and celebrate the day-to-day struggles and successes of dementia carers. Photos and film will be an integral part of our process and will be used in the resulting show, EVERYBODY HAS A STORY. WHAT’S YOURS?
When the project closes the participants could continue, taking the entire show or parts of it to community centres, libraries, care homes, hospitals, schools and outdoor community festivals.
We want to develop audiences and performers from communities with little or no access to theatre, encouraging them, developing their confidence so they feel able to share their stories with an audience. Our aim is to enthuse people about theatre. We want them to have fun and, crucially, to empower carers and give them a voice.
Our work with the two groups will provide authentic source material and verbatim accounts used when we devise...
A daughter, primed with presents, disguises herself, hides, then pounces when her father comes home. A Surprise Birthday Party!
His bewilderment turns to delight when he realises who it is. He then tries to trick her. They play games, trying to fool and outdo each other. Their laughter grows, becoming hysterical. His games turn crazy, unhinged and somewhat deranged. She gets exasperated then confused and scared when he seems unable to stop playing. What has happened to him? Their games have somehow turned real.
She panics when he doesn't seem to recognise her, then treats her like his mother, then his wife. His confusion and hallucinations multiply. He recovers, he regresses. He gets worse. Memories are painstakingly and recklessly awoken. He babbles. He is silent. His whole identity seems to be shrinking.
Has she got to take care of him? There's no one else. Trapped, desperate, she seeks support. Can anyone help? What help is there? Does anyone care?