Play about the effects of dementia coming to Haddenham Library

A theatre show about a mother's battle with dementia is coming to Haddenham Library later this month.

Connie's Colander is embarking on a 36 stop tour around libraries across the country this month which includes a visit to Haddenham on Wednesday May 22, during Dementia Action Week.

Gaye Poole and Amy Enticknap starring in Human Story Theatre's production of Connie's Colander

Gaye Poole and Amy Enticknap starring in Human Story Theatre's production of Connie's Colander

The show stars writer Gaye Poole who plays the character of Connie and Amy Enticknap, Human Story Theatre producer, who plays the character of Emily.

Amy said: “Connie’s Colander is a play exploring the way lives and relationships are affected by dementia and it is being performed at libraries.

"The audience are asked to pay what they can after the show.

“The play tells the story of Connie, a retired domestic science teacher.

"Emily, her daughter, is enjoying hosting her first TV cookery show.

"The play reveals their relationship evolving during Emily’s life and the audience can see the impact Connie’s Alzheimer’s has on them both, and on the TV show.

“The play aims to take a thought-provoking look at dementia and is suitable for general audiences and for those with an interest in the condition – including people whose own lives may be affected by it in some way.”

After the play, the actors lead a 20-minute question and answer session with guest specialists, offering information and stories of living with dementia.

Audience members are encouraged to share their own experiences and experts help signpost people to services available in their area.

Amy explained why libraries are the venues for the shows - as opposed to theatres.

She said: "We want to make these shows accessible for everyone and reach people who don't go to the theatre regularly.

"We want people to watch something comfortable that is on a low-key scale.

"We are very excited about this year's tour - last year was our first national tour with Connie's Colander and it went very well.

"There were 70 different locations that expressed an interest in hosting the play but we decided that would be too much of a jump from last year when we did 17 shows.

"We are very grateful to the Arts Council, the National Health Service and dementia groups who have helped to fund the project.

"It is very exciting to be able to tour a mix of rural locations and bigger towns and cities over the coming months."

Speaking about the show Dr Marion Lynch, dementia expert and deputy medical director for NHS England South said: “Connie gives us permission to laugh and cry about our own situation, the roles lost and responsibilities gained when living with dementia, and notice that we are not alone.

"More of this would lead to a different view on what it is to grow old and care for those who need our help.”

Sue Williamson, libraries director at Arts Council England said: “An awful lot of people who are interested or touched by these issues don’t feel safe in a theatre, but they do feel comfortable in their local library.’’

This year's tour includes double the number of shows compared to 2018, after the company secured funding from the Arts Council.

Entry to the show is through a pay what you can arrangement and the performance starts at 7.30pm and lasts for 50 minutes.

Pre-booking is advised and details of how to book for the Haddenham show are available at https://humanstorytheatre.com