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Richmond Theatre announces first-ever Dementia Friendly Performance

As part of Richmond Theatre's on-going commitment to making the venue more accessible to those with disabilities, Richmond Theatre and the Producers of Still Alice will mark its opening performance on Tuesday 18 September 2018 with a gala night and the theatre's first ever Dementia Friendly Performance - in aid of the Alzheimer's Society.

Still Alice tells the story of Alice Howland, stubborn, clever and driven - a professional at the top of her game. But, diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's at the age of 50, she is compelled to confront her new reality and draw on her resilience to remain independent for as long as possible.

Starring Sharon Small with a 'spellbinding' performance as Alice, this tender and touching play is a unique insight into the experience of a woman fighting to maintain her identity as her world changes.

The Stage described Still Alice as, 'a moving production that manages to find the positivity at the centre of an otherwise devastating illness.'

There are over 2,100 people living with dementia in Richmond Upon Thames, with 72,000 people affected across London. From continuing to invite people with dementia out, to making sure you listen and include them in conversations, people with dementia and carers have shared actions that will make a difference - helping them to feel included in their communities and able to live the lives they want.

The Infinite Group Producer, Michael Park, said 'I'm delighted to be bringing Still Alice, to Richmond Theatre, this Autumn. It's a project very dear to me, not just because it's a wonderfully moving show that I know audiences will love, but because of the close association I have built up with the Alzheimer's Society and Alzheimer's Scotland

Richmond Theatre Theatre Director, Brendan Riding said, 'Working with the Alzheimer's Society has been incredibly rewarding. They have provided phenomenal support to myself and the team, firstly by conducting training for our staff but also helping us as a venue understand how we can be more accessible for people who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. We are working towards holding more dementia friendly performances throughout the year and I can see no better show to launch this initiative.'

Esther Watts, Senior Dementia Friendly Communities Officer for London at Alzheimer's Society, said 'We are pleased to have worked with Richmond Theatre to help make it a space that is more accessible for people living with dementia. Many people with dementia report feeling trapped in their own homes and unable to take part in activities they enjoyed before they developed the condition. Central to making London a dementia-friendly city is encouraging organisations to take small steps.  By providing quiet break-out rooms and dimming the lights, Richmond Theatre shows it's possible to enable people affected by dementia to live well and continue to do the things that they love.'

What does the Dementia Friendly Performance entail?

The performance is carefully tailored for people with dementia as well as their families and/or carers so everyone can enjoy this wonderful production in an environment that is comfortable and supportive.

The house lights will be partially left up throughout the performance and quiet break-out rooms will be available before, during and after the performance.

As well as specially trained staff and volunteers, members of the Alzheimer's Society will also be on hand during the show to answer any questions people may have. They will be a Raising Awareness information stand which anyone who has questions or concerns about dementia or their loved ones can visit. 

A bucket collection will be taken throughout the week in support of the Alzheimer's Society.

Familiarisation visits are available should you wish to undertake one of these prior to your trip.

For any questions you may have about the performance or any specific additional requirements, please our dedicated Access Booking Line on 0800 912 6971.

Book now - Still Alice at Richmond Theatre

Tuesday 18 - Saturday 22 September 2018