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Theatre, Older People and People Living with Dementia

Since 2011, I have worked on creative performance projects with older people and people living with dementia. 


I was part of the team who developed Storybox for Library Theatre, Cornerhouse and HOME. A participant-led project focusing on imagination and playful improvisational theatre practice, Storybox works in the moment, playing games and creating stories to encourage connection and wellbeing. 

Since then, I have delivered Storybox residencies in care homes, day centres,  hospital wards, art galleries, museums, libraries and secure settings across the UK, for organisations including Hull 2017, Derbyshire CCG, Bridgewater Canal Trust & Small Things. I have created learning resources and training programmes for Salford Museums, Manchester Libraries and Heritage Trees.  I co-wrote The Storybox Manual with Lowri Evans, available here for free download. 


For the Courtyard Hereford's Making of Me Project, I mentored artists at the beginning of their collaborative practice with people living with dementia,  in care settings across Cheltenham, Gloucester and Oxford. 


With Eggs Collective and Heart of Glass, I worked with the residents of three sheltered housing schemes across St Helens to devise a brand-new cabaret performance. Made by and for the residents, the Knees Up project culminated in a part-party, part-show at The Citadel Theatre, featuring original live music and comedy sketches. It was wonderful to work with some of the residents again during our follow-up intergenerational project, the Unsung Heroes Parade. 


Age Concerns was a show made in collaboration with Nicki Hobday and Hilda Pearson. Nicki and I met Hilda when she was 88 and we were working on a project in a day centre. Hilda had spent time performing for "old dears" (her words) in care settings before she retired. The show explored ideas of past and future selves, friendship and 'participation'. It was supported by The Future, hAb & Arts Council England, and performed at festivals including GIFT, Derelict and Word of Warning. 


I'm currently working as an artist as part of The Care Aesthetics Research Project, for University of Manchester & Care Lab at The Whitworth. I'm also working with nursing students at University of Chester exploring arts & dementia practice, and I'm project manager for Manchester Camerata's Music in Mind music therapy programme. 

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