This Incredible Life.........Review (Ffwrnes Theatre ,Llanelli)
Last night I attended the Press Evening performance of Canoe Theatre/Theatrau Sir Gar production of 'This Incredible Life' .
Written by Bruntwood prize winning author Alan Harris (How My Life Was Spent) and directed by
Julia Thomas who explains where the idea came from: '' “When I was younger I was forever asking my granny to tell me stories about her life and we would often get lost in afternoons of watching beautiful films full of love and hope with amazing dance routines. I wanted to see if we could create this feeling on stage. It is both epic and intimate, funny and touching. It is a story that is suitable for all. I feel that we have a responsibility to make sure that our theatres offer something for everyone and I am excited to be sharing this play with eight inspiring Welsh venues committed to the same cause'
Robert (Christopher Elson) is an exasperated young man, desperately trying to bring reality back to his fantasising Aunt ,it took me a while to warm to Roberts character as he reminded me of a Noel Coward leading man in the way he was presented on stage.I found myself ,at times, frustrated with his annoyance at Mab.I wanted him to stop his posturing and say to him ''Listen , just listen'' because that is all Mab or any of us, want - to be heard.
Mab ( Sharon Morgan) has Dementia and ,as far as Robert is concerned , a tendency to embellish the truth with repeated tales of her past endeavours .
Mab is infuriating at times dipping in and out of the real world but her heart beats true - as she says 'Don't try to cheat Death; Live Life''
The story is narrated from both points of view , with bilingual interspersed dialogue, and it is through these narrations that we not only experience Roberts frustrations and anger but we see Mabs stories and hallucinations .Their story is interwoven with on-screen contributions from memories and thoughts within Mab.You can see the energy pour from Mab as she reiterates her tales -it doesn't matter how often she repeats herself- she has a story to tell, as Mab says 'I just want you to listen before I forget'
If you are expecting an all singing, all dancing tale of Dementia then you will be disappointed - yes there are fragments of those days within but they are subtle,gentle and minimal .
As you may know, within this blog I have tried to tell some of the stories of my family , these are anecdotes that have been passed on with love and an eagerness of the storyteller to inform the listener of their life, their existence. I, personally, am aware I can sometimes repeat the same story or piece of information several times in my eagerness.
This Incredible Life is a gentle reminder to listen, to care.....
This Incredible Life will be at Chapter Arts on October 4th and 5th
There will be a special Dementia Friendly Theatre Day on October 5th
Redhouse Cymru, Merthyr Tydfil 01/10/18 4.30 (Dementia Friendly) and 6.15
Aberystwyth Arts Centre 02/10/18 3.00 (Dementia Friendly)
The Met, Abertillery 03/10/18 1.30 (Dementia Friendly)
Chapter, Cardiff 04/10/18 7.00 (Audio Description/Touch Tour)
05/10/18 2.30 (Dementia Friendly) + 7.00
Ysgol Aberconwy, Conwy 08/10/18 2.15 (Dementia Friendly)
Pontio, Bangor 09/10/18 3.00 (Dementia Friendly)
Blackwood Miners’ Institute 11/10/18 7.00 (Dementia Friendly)