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Theatre company transforms memories of older generation into plays

PUBLISHED: 17:02 04 March 2019 | UPDATED: 17:04 04 March 2019

Actors from theatre company INK visited the Wellbeing Day Centre in Oulton Broad as part of their Golden Age Project. Picture: Wellbeing Day Centre

Actors from theatre company INK visited the Wellbeing Day Centre in Oulton Broad as part of their Golden Age Project. Picture: Wellbeing Day Centre

Archant

There was a chance for the older generation to embrace days gone by as they were entertained for the day by a theatre company.

Actors from theatre company INK visited the Wellbeing Day Centre in Oulton Broad as part of their Golden Age Project. Picture: Wellbeing Day Centre
Actors from theatre company INK visited the Wellbeing Day Centre in Oulton Broad as part of their Golden Age Project. Picture: Wellbeing Day Centre

As part of their Golden Age Project - inspired by life stories of the elderly and those living with dementia - actors from INK visited the Wellbeing Day Centre in Oulton Broad to perform a series of short monologues.

Led by professional writers James McDermott and Griff Scott, residents and day centre regulars explored memories and experiences by sharing stories, photographs and favourite songs from different times in their lives.

The pair then used the memories to create short monologues which were directed by Julie Sowerbutts and performed by INK actors Clare Hawes, Joe Sowerbutts and Tessa Wojtczak.

Project coordinator Helen Hayes, who also engaged audience members with a singalong, said: “It was wonderful to bring in members of our company to share these pieces with the customers, families, friends and care staff.

Actors from theatre company INK visited the Wellbeing Day Centre in Oulton Broad as part of their Golden Age Project. Picture: Wellbeing Day Centre
Actors from theatre company INK visited the Wellbeing Day Centre in Oulton Broad as part of their Golden Age Project. Picture: Wellbeing Day Centre

“I really feel the project has given a voice to the participants and has certainly made me more aware of the challenges faced by people living with old age and dementia.

“Education and community work is at the core of what we do at INK and we are looking forward to taking this project forward to work with other care providers and community groups in the local area.”

The Wellbeing Day Centre, situated next to The Dell care home on Cotmer Road, offers a wide range of activities and has previously held several creative writing workshops.

At their most recent event, the short plays replicated memories and feelings related to themes including the seaside, wartime evacuation, confusion, effects of noise, serving in the war, weekends of dancing and shopping, and life in a care home.

Actors from theatre company INK visited the Wellbeing Day Centre in Oulton Broad as part of their Golden Age Project. Picture: Wellbeing Day Centre
Actors from theatre company INK visited the Wellbeing Day Centre in Oulton Broad as part of their Golden Age Project. Picture: Wellbeing Day Centre

Mr McDermott, who told of his grandmother recently showing signs of dementia, added: “I wanted to work with INK to deliver writing workshops and help them better understand their condition in the hope I’ll learn how to talk to and empathise with my gran.

“INK and I hoped the writing workshops would encourage residents to talk about their lives and help abate their loneliness and memory loss.

The Wellbeing Day Centre would like to thank Helen Hayes, as well as all the playwrights and actors involved on the day.

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