South Hill Park is highlighting its dementia-friendly screenings and relaxed performances in May to mark Dementia Action Week 2018 (21 – 27 May).
For over a year, South Hill Park has been working with Bracknell Film Society to provide monthly dementia-friendly cinema screenings in its intimate, 60-seat cinema. Volunteers and attendees share their thoughts about what it means to them to be able to attend these performances:
“Superb experience; brought back lovely memories of courting at the pictures.”
“The freedom to sing and swing was wonderful.”
“It brought back memories of childhood and music – I hadn’t realised these musicals were such an influence on me.”
“It is wonderful you are putting these on – you have the films just right and we really appreciate the opportunity to get out and have a tea / coffee afterwards.”
“At the very first event for Dementia Friendly films I found myself so moved that it was hard not to lose my composure. After all, I was the fire steward so needed to stay on duty! The film was Blue Hawaii and Elvis started singing “Can’t help falling in love”. I heard a gradual swelling sound of the audience joining in. I found out later that for one woman living with dementia and her two daughters who had brought her to the film, it was their dad and mom’s courting song. For them it was an invaluable experience to be with their mom in this film. For others there were their own memories and I was reminded of the importance of music for people living with dementia. It was a wonderful experience for me as a volunteer.” – Diane
“Organising and volunteering at the dementia-friendly film screenings has been something of a voyage of discovery for me. Previously, I’d had no contact with anyone living with dementia, and I have learned much about the condition. This includes how important it is to provide enjoyable experiences, the pleasure from which will stay with the person with dementia for some time. It has been a privilege to get to know the audience of those with dementia and their carers and a joy to welcome back regulars.” – Julia
A big thank you to our wonderful volunteers who dedicate their time to these screenings, to our attendees and their carers for coming to and enjoying these screenings.
South Hill Park also endeavours to make our productions as welcoming and accessible as possible, and so our relaxed performances are intended specifically to be sensitive to, and accepting of audience members who may benefit from a more relaxed environment, including (but not limited to) those with autistic spectrum conditions, people living with dementia, parents with very young children on their first outing to the theatre, and anyone with sensory and communication disorders or learning disabled people.
Our relaxed performances will continue into 2018, with performances available in The Jungle Book, Robin Hood – A Musical Celebration, Private Peaceful and Dick Whittington and his Cat.