Back for a second year, Living Memory 2019 delighted a full house at New Wimbledon Theatre – and points the way to an ongoing cross-generational relationship.
Capturing the memories of those living with dementia could not be more rewarding. When our young actors interviewed members of the community living with dementia, they had no idea that the stories they’d be told would be so full of love, laughter, courage and character.
Developing these stories into a theatre piece, set in the dementia hub – along with bingo and daily exercises (a touch that really tickled the audience) – was an exciting part of the process; but the real rewards come when the cast perform the stories to the people who lived them.
Each story told illicited a huge reaction from the audience member whose life was being played out on stage. The delight on their faces – and the friends and family members they had invited to see the show – was clear to see as they relived their memories in such a special way.
Act Two did a sterling job of performing these stories with grace, respect and commitment.
There were laughs and tears but, most importantly, the stories were authentic: the script was developed in verbatim, according to the interviews conducted by the small team of actors who attended the hub.
This year’s Living Memory would not have been possible without the generous support of a grant from the Wimbledon Foundation’s Community Fund: the Foundation aims to strengthen the local community, encourage healthy and active lives for all ages, to help those in need and to develop young people. We are delighted that its aims are so closely aligned to our own and we were thrilled to welcome a member of the Foundation’s team to the theatre to enjoy Living Memory with us on 7 July 2019.
We’d love to continue the enriching work of Living Memory in 2020: we’re waiting to hear how we did in the local Tesco Bags of Help campaign. Fingers (and everything else!) crossed we’ve won the top prize of £4,000 to fund Living Memory again next year.
Get on stage with WCTT’s Young Actors Company
Would you like to be involved in a community project & production like Living Memory?
If you’re aged between 11-19 and live in Merton or the surrounding area, you can apply now to audition for a place in our youth theatre.
You’ll work with professional writers and directors and rehearse at New Wimbledon Theatre every Sunday in term time.
We are one of the most affordable youth theatres in London and offer bursary places through our Open Door scheme, designed to ensure the Young Actors Company is inclusive.
The deadline for applications is 1 September 2019 and auditions take place on 8 September.
If you’re a local business and you’d like to help Living Memory 2020 happen, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.