Thank you to all the partner venues, funders, supporters, promoters, theatre and health experts and people living with dementia (and their carers) who took part in our Strategic Touring Project over 2017-19, aiming to engage people living with dementia with the theatre, remove barriers to attendance and participation, and help to change attitudes to and understanding of people who live with dementia.
The project, funded by Arts Council England, allowed us to work with organisations and individuals, learning how touring companies and venues can make theatres more accessible and welcoming, and sharing and developing this knowledge with our partner venues.
Over the two years, we reached over 13,000 people through the two shows and one workshop intrinsic to the project:Finding Joy (our show about a woman living with dementia), Sharing Joy (our show made for people living with dementia, which tours to care homes, day centres and theatres) and our workshop, Listening with your Eyes, which teaches the powerful effect of non-verbal techniques, and their benefit in helping us make real and honest connections – particularly with those living with dementia.
The legacy of the Strategic Touring Project is not only the greater understanding we have developed through the generosity of those we have worked with, or the continuing development of our work for people living with dementia and promotion of Relaxed Performances, but the many musical, sensory, social events and groups that have been created through the project, which now seem firmly embedded in theatres and care homes, day services and hospitals across the country.
Thank you to everyone who has taken part in, and contributed to, the project over the last two years, and especially to Arts Council England who made it all possible. We’re proud that the impact of the project has been so widespread and that it leaves a legacy of a change in attitudes and awareness in the theatre world and beyond.
Sharing Joy is a show created for people living with dementia and their carers. It brings all the production qualities, humour, warmth and love of our renowned touring productions right into the heart of the care community.