There were beaming faces and belly laughs galore across Sanctuary Care’s homes when residents enjoyed interactive performances steeped in nostalgia
During October residents at 12 of the organisation’s homes in Worcestershire, Weston-super-Mare, Wolverhampton, Birmingham and Telford enjoyed ‘Sharing Joy’ – a specially commissioned performance by Vamos Theatre packed with charming and humorous scenes from the 1940s and 1950s.
Sharing Joy delves into the lives of courting couples, wartime nurses and even a singing dog called Elvis – with every scene featuring music from yesteryear, beautiful costumes, hand crafted masks and colourful props.
At Hastings Residential Care Home in Malvern, manager Sue Milward said: “There was so much belly laughing it was just heart-warming to see so many engaged and glowing faces in the audience. This was the best performance we have ever had here – it was wonderful to sit back and watch the smiles and the laughter.”
Resident Hilda Preston, who is 91 years old and has lived at Hastings for over two years said: “It was just lovely, I couldn’t wait to tell my daughter about the show.”
Fellow resident of over five years Ann Thompson, who is 94 years old added: “I laughed and laughed.”
The interactive performances were part of a tour of 12 of the organisation’s homes following the success of previous work with Vamos. It was part of Shine!, a national two-year arts programme funded by Sanctuary Group, which uses creative arts to shine a light on the talents of residents across Sanctuary Care’s 61 homes.
The tour was funded by Sanctuary Group’s Community Investment Fund, which offers support and funding to groups to deliver activities within communities in which they operate.
Marie-Claire Berreen, Head of Community Investment said: “It’s been wonderful to see residents and staff taking part and expressing themselves. This project is all about shining a light on the person – who they are, what they have achieved in their life, what they like to do.”
Vamos Theatre is a Worcestershire-based full mask theatre company, which tours nationally and internationally, taking its unique style of innovative and engaging theatre to communities. The company specialises in adaptations of human stories, often rooted in real-life histories and events. It prides itself in being passionate about theatre and its role in people’s lives.