Daughter caring for her dad with Alzheimer’s on stage

Catherine in rehearsal for The Last Memory with Keith Royston.
Catherine in rehearsal for The Last Memory with Keith Royston.

A true life story of a daughter caring for her father who has Alzheimer’s will be presented on stage this weekend.

Award-winning playwright Alan Stockdill, of Talking Stock Productions, will be presenting his play at Victoria Hall, in Settle.

The Last Memory is inspired by the true life story about dementia and family relationships and will also be a fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Society. It is being performed at the Victoria Hall, Settle.

“How can I go to heaven if I don’t know who I am?” said Ernest to his daughter Lynne when his niggling and worsening memory problems are finally diagnosed as Alzheimer’s Disease. But he also has a plan to leave a vital imprint of who he is. Lynne is to be the keeper of his memory, the guardian of their past.

The hour-long play starting at 6pm on Sunday July 10 will be followed by an interval, then an optional question and answer session with the writer, director and actors.

The play was inspired by Edwin Harrison, 87, the real life ‘Ernest.’ It includes true stories from Edwin’s family, real letters, memories and experiences. The actress playing the character of Ernest’s daughter Lynne, Talking Stock producer Catherine Pasek, is Edwin’s daughter.

She is living in a similar situation with both her parents who are now in different nursing homes, each suffering with late stage dementia.

“This piece of writing is totally from the heart,” said Catherine Pasek, “Dad has had this awful disease for the past 15 years but despite the diagnosis and situation we aim to show how it’s still possible to extract joy out of the pain and laughter from the tears.”

Alison Bradbury from the Alzheimer’s Society said: “We’re really happy that Talking Stock are helping to raise both awareness and funds with this wonderful piece of drama.”

Talking Stock Productions were last in the area when they performed at Christ Church, in Morecambe in February with Godfrey’s Last Love (Bring me Sunshine).

The audience had been keen for their return after the company did a fundraising performance of Le Grand Return for Morecambe man Keith Roach.

They are coming back to Morecambe with Godfrey’s Last Stand on Sunday 
November 20.

For the Settle performance of The Last Memory tickets can be reserved by calling the box office on 01729 825718. They are free but a donation is invited for the charity the Alzheimer’s Society, on exit.

The play is also touring to other venues in the North and North West including Grassington, Glossop, Halifax, Huddersfield. To find out more about the Alzheimer’s Society go to www.alzheimers.org.uk.