Play especially designed for audiences with advanced dementia, takes to the stage in Darlington

Smashing Mirrors Theatre actors with residents of North Park Care Centre
Actors mingle with the audience to talk about memories prompted by the play. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

A play especially produced for audiences with dementia has been performed in Darlington.

'Mike and Millie Go To The Seaside' was written and produced to entertain people living with advanced forms of the disease.

"It's little snippets rather than a big story, so people can zone in and out," explains director, Elizabeth Godber.

"It's only half an hour long, so it's not asking too much of their attention. It's got lots of things to touch and feel and things to trigger memories and help people with reminiscence."

The play was produced by Smashing Mirrors Theatre Company, with the help of Dementia Studies staff and students at the University of Hull.

The play taps into memories of days out at the seaside.

Mike and Millie Go To The Seaside was performed at Darlington Hippodrome for an invited audience from North Park Care Centre.

The play is funded by charities and theatres to be free for audiences.

Chris Wellings, from Darlington Hippodrome said: "The theatre is for everybody and a lot of the work that we do is to encourage people, no matter their age, background or any conditions they have, to continue to enjoy the theatre."

Performances will also take place in York and Ripon.

Ms Godber added: "My hope is that it can continue to go to loads of different communities.

"I really think it's important to have a provision of artistic things for people to attend because that can be really stimulating.

"Music and singing can really bring people out of themselves. I just want to keep bringing that joy to people"

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