Dreams turning to reality

After working on the Disappearance of Eliza Grey, meeting with many people and reading lots of books. The script is finished.
It has gone through a few titles and even been performed once. But the most influential experience was meeting a group of people living with Dementia. I walked into the group not knowing who was who. I couldn’t tell who was living with Dementia, and that is the truth of this.
I was there to find out how to make my play about an 80 year old moving into a residential home the most truthful. So I thought I would start with the title. ‘Have you ever felt that you have disappeared?’ Yes was the response, when we were diagnosed. What followed was a conversation that I hope I never forget, where great people told me about the challenges that they had met with when they told people, and also the support that they received. I was told how they volunteered in their communities, and contributed all whilst living with Dementia.
The conversation made me change my play, it had to be about someone with early onset Dementia, as they are often forgotten in people’s ideas that Dementia is a disease of the old. It had to be about diagnosis, rather than the change in to residential care. And it had to be about living life to the full. That’s what this group did. I had to honour them!
Next month I go back to the group, and will see what they think about the story that I have told…

June 29, 2018