The work of Living Words in care settings and the community is the inspiration for its wider programme of publications, performance and literature events. So far these works have challenged the marginalisation of people with dementia and make their words take centre stage.
Living Words first anthology of poetry, reflecting the direct experience of people living with dementia was produced in March 2013 and is used in presentations and courses. It was quoted in an article in The Independent.
Living Words presented a performance of Susanna’s current piece – WEAVE – as part of London Creativity and Wellbeing Week in June 2012 at Westminster Council House and as part of Arts and Wellbeing week in November 2012 at the Cockpit Theatre.
At a previous showing for care staff, audience feedback included: ‘Would definitely recommend WEAVE to friends and colleagues’; ‘The play still resonates with me several days later!’; ‘Inspirational’; ‘I think it is (a) very brave, radical and refreshing.’
At a showing for Arts and Wellbeing week feedback included: ‘A thought-provoking, generous and honest insight into Dementia and people who care for people with Dementia. Weave makes you reconsider your views on what you thought Dementia is and makes you requestion your understandings of subject.’ Katherine Lowe, Central School of Speech and Drama Tutor. Applied Drama;
‘The potential of Susanna’s project is enormous because it celebrates the power of theatre to be transformative in the way in which it can provoke audiences to reassess how they perceive other individuals and therefore themselves it also celebrates the diversity of the human experience. Through its innovative form (the combination of direct audience address, use of verbatim, comedy, the personal and brutally honest) the content explored and communicated lands with the utmost integrity and force. This is unchartered territory and brave and necessary theatre.’ Doug Rintoul, theatre director, Transport Theatre
WEAVE brings together Susanna’s work with Living Words for carehomes commissioned by Westminster Arts and her personal narrative that brings added insight, laughs, bizarre coincidence and bewilderment.
We are looking to develop WEAVE as a touring production Winter 2013, to tour theatres 2014. We are actively seeking partners to support the touring of this work.
Artistic Director Susanna has written a play inspired by dementia consultant, psycho-therapist and trainer Danuta Lipinska. Initially triggered by Susanna’s research in to consciousness, THE TREE is about a sceptical psycho-therapist who, at a turning point in her life, meets a woman with young onset dementia. The two women’s lives rub against each other until the therapist is injured in a terrorist attack and starts seeing things, blurring her perceptions of reality even more. The play received a week long residency at the National Theatre Studio, actors working on the play included Gina Mckee, Pamela Miles, Nick Fletcher, Suzanne Burden and Paul Bentall.
Readings of Living Words work have taken place across the UK in venues including: Meanwhile Space, Stoke Newington; Europe House, London; Dementia Congress, Bournemouth & Brighton; Oktober Gallery, London; Westminster Memory Service launch; Guys & St Thomas’ Charity. Where possible individuals we have worked with read their poems too. A live reading on radio station Resonance FM can be listened to by clicking here
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