Every Third Minute at West Yorkshire Playhouse: A festival of theatre, dementia and hope curated by people living with dementia

Written by  //   //  Arts News  //  No comments

every third minute preview poster

Every Third Minute Festival Opens at West
Yorkshire Playhouse

A month-long series of events curated by people
living with dementia

Every Third Minute has opened at West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds; a festival of theatre, dementia and hope curated by people living with dementia. The first of its kind, the festival acknowledges that every third minute in the UK someone will begin living with dementia.

An eclectic programme of performances, conversations, installations, training and workshops, the festival opens with the brand new stage adaptation of Lisa Genova’s best-selling novel Still Alice.

West Yorkshire Playhouse Theatre and Dementia Research Associate Nicky Taylor says: “We hear many stories about caring and grieving for people living with dementia, but we rarely hear stories of people’s experiences of actually living with dementia. Every Third Minute is about amplifying those voices and changing perceptions and attitudes, through a far reaching programme that broadens the narrative of dementia. Placing people with dementia in decision-making positions we can challenge the more negative expectations and limitations that can arrive hand in hand with a diagnosis, and instead celebrate their potential and creativity.”

every third minute west yorkshire playhouse logo Sharon Small in Still Alice

Actor Sharon Small stars in the opening event of ‘Every Third Minute’, ‘Still Alice’

“A revelation”

The performance programme offers a diverse and far reaching selection of performances compiled by the festival curators, including Three, three new plays co-written by people living with dementia, paired with professional writers.

Barney Bardsley, co-writer, with Rosa Peterson, of A Horse Called Freedom, says: “This process has been fascinating. Rosa and I have worked very closely together to express deep truths about her condition – and to show her very lively imagination and vision at work. It has been a revelation to learn what a well of creativity there is in people with dementia – if we take the time and effort to tap it. They have so much to teach us about how to listen – and how to live. “

Also included in the programme is live music from artist Hannah Peel, a rehearsed reading of Maggie May by award-winning playwright Frances Poet and Spare Tyre’s multi-sensory immersive experience ‘The Garden’ for people living with dementia and their supporters.

“Innovative approach”

A series of conversations, including a Dementia Wikithon, a session where people living with dementia and their supporters can edit the Wikipedia pages on dementia and related topics, and training and workshops for families, healthcare professionals and artists, will run alongside the performance programme, with more events and performances to be announced.

West Yorkshire Playhouse run regular activities for people living with dementia, including Our Time sessions for people living with dementia and their partners, Peer Support Sessions in partnership with other cultural organisations throughout the city, and Dementia Friendly performances. The Playhouse’s innovative approach has been recognised with national awards from the Alzheimer’s Society and National Dementia Care Awards.

For tickets and further info visit wyp.org.uk/events/every-third-minute

Leave a Comment

comm comm comm