To mark World Alzheimer’s Month, The Utley Foundation’s Music for Dementia campaign has brought back to the London stage In Other Words, a powerful play exploring how music can help reconnect people living with dementia to their loved ones and the world around them.
In Other Words is a heartfelt love story about one couple’s relationship across decades intertwined with the voice of Frank Sinatra from playwright and actor Matthew Seager. It delves into the impact of Alzheimer’s and the transformative power of music, while exploring how music can help us remember the past, connect with the present and hold onto hope for the future. The play debuted in 2017 and has since gone on to achieve huge international success, including four Moliere Awards for the French production.
The Utley Foundation has given a grant to bring the play back to UK audiences as part of its renowned Music for Dementia programme. Awarded as a creative way to raise awareness of the power of music on people living with dementia, the grant has enabled a three-week run at London’s Arcola Theatre from 5th to 30th of September, followed by six further performances as part of a short tour outside of London. Music for Dementia will also be hosting a special performance for invited guests from the worlds of music, health and adult social care on World Alzheimer’s Day, September 21.
To celebrate World Alzheimer’s Month and support the hard-working people working in dementia care, Music for Dementia is offering the care sector a 15% discount to tickets to the performance during September for In Other Words at the Arcola Theatre with the code OTHERWORDS15. Music for Dementia hopes it will encourage people to attended, immerse themselves in the play and find enlightenment and inspiration in the experience.
Sarah Metcalfe, Managing Director of Music for Dementia said:
“First and foremost In Other Words is a great play, a love story that grips you emotionally as this couple deal with the reality of dementia. In the background it highlights the way music can become a lifeline. By bringing the play back to the stage we hope to get the message to more people that it’s worth giving music a try, even if it’s just for 10 minutes in a carer’s busy day.
“The campaign is always looking for new and creative ways to share that message and we hope that through this play more people involved in the dementia arena will find nuggets of inspiration to use music to reconnect and make life a little lighter.”
Matthew Seager wrote In Other Words as a young 20 year-old drama student. He experienced a life changing moment during a sensory stimulation workshop he facilitated in a care home as part of his university course. When he played Frank Sinatra’s ‘Fly Me to the Moon’ at the end of the session he was ‘floored’ when the room came alive.
Commenting on the play Matthew said: “It’s fantastic that In Other Words will run during World Alzheimer’s Month when interest and conversation about the condition will peak. It has an important message to tell about dementia and music as well as love, compassion and companionship.”
Figures from the care sector who have already viewed the play have commented:
Sue Hinds, Head of Services at Dementia Carers Count “This play beautifully portrays the experiences of a couple affected by dementia. It shows the progression of the disease and a whole range of practical, physical and emotional challenges that the couple have to face. We see how much dementia can strain even the most loving relationship and the toll it takes on the resilience of the two of them. The performance allows the audience to share in these complex and ever-changing emotions and illustrates the sheer exhaustion that a person with dementia and their carer can experience in coping with the daily challenges.”
Last year, Music for Dementia published the Power of Music report with UK Music, in consultation with over 200 organisations and individuals. The report laid out a framework for government to integrate music across health and social care. Now we are supporting the National Academy of Social Prescribing with a contribution of £1million for local grant-making, to launch the Power of Music Fund this autumn.