Creative Matters is a series of month-long programmes of performances, workshops, films, exhibitions and discussions organised via Norwich Theatre Royal, which use creative activities to explore an issue which affects people of all ages and backgrounds. Throughout May, their latest Creative Matters season focuses on the subject of caring for people with dementia.
There are currently 850,000 people in the UK living with dementia, but this is expected to rise to one million by 2025 as people live longer. In Norfolk, 8,650 people over 65 have already been diagnosed with some form of the condition, although it is believed there are many more who have not yet been diagnosed and the real figure could be closer to 13,758.
Performance highlights include The Nature of Forgetting, a powerful, explosive and joyous performance by Theatre:Re about what is left when memory is gone (Wednesday 9 May at Norwich Playhouse); Cockamamy, a heart-breaking, savagely funny new play about companionship exploring the reality of living with dementia (Thursday 31 May at Stage Two, Theatre Royal).
Workshops include Cloth of Kindness, a low energy, creative sewing circle with an uplifting focus on thoughts and experiences of kindness, which is a shared activity suitable for those with mild/moderate dementia and their carers/loved ones (Friday 4 May & Friday 25 May at the Theatre Royal); Creative Skills for Carers, with activities for both those with dementia and their carers focusing on imaginative techniques for non-verbal communication in everyday activities (Monday 14 May, Stage Two).
There’s a conference for businesses, Adapting Business for Dementia (Friday 18 May at Stage Two); free film screenings of The Lady in the Van (Tuesday 15 May) and Mr Holmes (Saturday 26 May), both at Stage Two; more workshops for adults and families, and a free photographic exhibition, Talking Life, which challenges people to reconsider their initial assumptions about dementia (Friday 4 – Thursday 31 May at Stage Two).