are there/is there anyone out there working in theatre with dementia?

tanya myers, 21 June 2012

Participants :Phalim, of Improbable Theatre, Gary Philpott director of ‘Off the fence’ Theatre company based in Leicester and Gerry Flannigan artistic director of ‘Shifting Sands’. Tanya Myers of meeting Ground based in Nottingham.

Discussion - looking for non verbal theatre forms or ways of working that does not depend on cognitive skills. Puppetry was mentioned - Devoted and Disgruntled produced from previous roadshow - Devising and Dementia (28th Feb 2012)

reminiscence work Object work Interesting dance work

Not making theatre that is necessarily ‘issue’ based- but accessing creativity of artists to develop their perception and skills to enable connection.

Inspired by Entelechy Arts who produced work empowering dementia sufferers, ‘carers’ became almost invisible - dementia performer led..... would love to more how they work

'Meeting Ground Theatre company' are producing play called ‘Inside out of Mind’ - based on major research into Caring for people with dementia - so their work is

looking at demonization and lack of empathetic skill base for carers - how can the arts work in this context - working with both carers,self and patient, looking to effect qualitative human experience of life for both person with dementia and those around in caring roles?

How can we apply our creative process, enable connection, communication beyond the ;normal' the ‘linear’ ways of thinking....

Gerry talks of Tragedy and clowning - this linking to dementia - permission to laugh. Looking at taboo's.

Gary talked of their plays (self funded) taking new work into schools, site specific - a particular play had significance to dementia called double two double four.

Please let us know if you are working with your art with people with dementia or at home with someone you are caring for. or if you want to know more about inside of mind or visit


dementia, dementiacares, puppetry, insideout of mind, carers