Leicester’s Curve Theatre, which can be used for meetings and conferences, staged an inaugural dementia friendly performance of Oliver! on 13 January.
The dementia friendly performance tailored the theatre experience to meet the needs of people living with dementia, and their family so that they could all enjoy the performance in a relaxed and supportive environment.
Chris Stafford, chief executive of Curve, and Nikolai Foster, artistic director, said: “We believe theatre should be accessible to all and we were delighted to offer a dementia friendly performance of Oliver! We have grown our number of access performances significantly and we are thrilled to adapt our production of Oliver! for people living with dementia.”
Rowleys (performance sponsors) chairman, Tony Jarvis, said: “We have been in the very fortunate position to work with Curve for some time now. Dementia is an illness that has touched many of our lives, and we are privileged to sponsor this event.”
The performance only differed subtly, ranging from opening theatre doors early to allow theatre goers more time to sit, house lights left on during the performance, quiet areas, and additional signage to altered sound and lighting cues in the performance to ensure relaxation and security.
Dave Basset from The Alzheimer’s Society, said: “All too often people with dementia and their carers feel isolated and cut off from community life. We would like to encourage other venues in Leicester and beyond to think about ways they can make themselves more dementia friendly.”