Youth theatre group works with Alzheimer’s charity for latest production

Local youth organisation the Richmondshire Youth Theatre is adding finishing touches to their fascinating production, We are Such Stuff as Memories are Made on.

Taken from a line in Shakespeare’s play The Tempest, this title points towards the plot, based upon a literature lover’s battle with dementia and his families struggles to support him.

The project began following an approach by The Friends of Garget Walker House, a charity that supports those affected by Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

Through practical drama workshops, research and training provided by the Alzheimer’s Society, Richmond Youth Theatre members have created this clever and thought provoking piece of theatre.

Shiela Blacklock, chair of Friends of Garget Walker House, said: “We are delighted to be working with the Richmondshire Youth Theatre on this dementia awareness project.

“Thanks to a North Yorkshire County Council Stronger Community Grant we are able tour Richmondshire. The young people have created this play and we urge people to come along to one of the six venues.”

Thomas Chandler and Ben Clarke both play the leading role in the production and have also contributed scenes for the play.

Thomas said: “It has been an honour to work on this project as both co-writer – admittedly a lesser one – and actor.

“I feel that it has truly been a journey for all of us and I am glad to be bringing light to such an underrepresented issue in the world. It truly has been an unforgettable experience and an amazing play to be a part of as my first one with RYT.”

Ben added: “Everything about this project has been fascinating.

“Contributing to such a special and unique project from both an actor’s and writer’s perspective has been daunting but highly rewarding.

“From the concept of touring to the dementia friend’s information session and everything in between, these past couple of months have, for me, summed up all the best parts of RYT: great people exploring new and exciting ways to perform. It’s been amazing!”

Opening night is on April 29 at Richmond Town Hall and it will be hosted by the Mayor of Richmond, Councillor Russell Lord and the Vice Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, Peter Scrope.

The performance will begin at 7.30pm.

Tickets are £5 for adults and £3 for under eighteen’s (£10 and £5 respectively for opening and closing nights which include a buffet).

The remaining five events are:

  • May 13th, 7.30pm Walker Memorial Hall, Aldbrough St John
  • May 19th, 7.30pm, Colburn Village Hall
  • May 20th, 7.30pm, Booth memorial Hall, Catterick Village
  • June 10th, 7.30pm, The National School Hawes
  • June 24th, 7.30pm, The Oak Room, Thornbrough Hall, Leyburn

This clever plot, devised and created by the young people themselves and based upon their own experiences during dementia training provided by the Alzheimer’s Society, ensures that each night will be a fascinating and moving event not to be missed.

For tickets call Linda Curran on 07875567984 or RYT  on 07709870861.