Shrewsbury’s Theatre Severn will host a first dementia friendly performance later this month when the smash-hit West End and Broadway musical Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story visits the venue as part of a major UK tour.
Following on from Dementia Action Week (15 – 21 May), the Alzheimer’s Society’s biggest and longest running awareness campaign, Theatre Severn are inviting people living with dementia, their families, and carers to experience a performance in a more relaxed environment at 2.30pm on Thursday 25 May.
Specially adjusted for audiences who are less comfortable with any elements of the usual theatre experience, audience members will be able to move around freely, leave, and enter the auditorium as needed, with the lights on low and sound effects softened.
Seen by over 22 million people worldwide, the award-winning show tells Buddy Holly’s story, from his Texas rockabilly beginnings to international stardom, featuring all of his greatest hits, including That’ll Be The Day, Oh Boy, Rave On, La Bamba, Johnny B. Goode, Raining In My Heart, Shout and many more.
Theatre Severn Marketing Officer Beki Poole said: “We’re thrilled to be hosting this dementia-friendly performance. Dementia Action Week runs from the 15 – 21 May and we’re hoping to shine a light on this important cause by providing an accessible performance for those living with dementia. This performance is open to everyone and we’re sure audiences will be toe-tapping along to some Buddy Holly classics in this fantastic Rock n Roll musical.”
Buddy Writer and Producer Alan Janes says: “We are delighted to be hosting our first dementia friendly performance at Shrewsbury’s Theatre Severn. We hope our audience members enjoy these special relaxed performances during our UK tour. Our cast of hugely talented actors and musicians bring the joy of Buddy Holly’s music to our audience members, of all ages, so everyone can experience the pleasure of live music and theatre.”
The Buddy Holly Story opens at Theatre Severn on Tuesday 23 May, with performances daily until Saturday 27 May. Tickets are available online at theatresevern.co.uk, by telephone (01743 281281) and from the venue Box Office.
The Alzheimer’s Society state that music can often help a person with dementia to connect with the past by evoking memories, feelings, and emotions that they might otherwise find hard to express.
They may find it easier to recall memories when they hear pieces of music that are significant to them – be it their favourite song from the past, or a lullaby they used to sing to their children.
The Alzheimer’s Society also reports that dementia diagnosis rates have stagnated, and many people are facing dementia alone, without access to the vital support that a diagnosis can bring. Dementia Action Week encourages individuals and their families to seek a timely diagnosis and avoid reaching crisis point.