Our recent Covid-safe tour of care homes, Love Through Double Glazing, has proved a huge success with residents and staff. The show, which had 22 performances in the West Midlands, Worcestershire, Warwickshire and Worthing was performed by Vamos Theatre Artistic Director Rachael Savage, clown performer Sean Kempton and emerging artist, Norah the Bichon Frise.
Performed entirely outside and viewed through windows, Love Through Double Glazing tells the story of Florence, a care home resident, and her little white dog, played by Norah. Brimming with clowning, music, food fights, bubbles and ballet, the performance involves the audience in Covid-safe participation, with scents to smell, cake to eat, bubbles and water pistols to get silly with.
The performance is designed to appeal to all residents, including those living with dementia. Care homes responded that it was a wonderful experience, in which everyone could take part. Nigel 85, “enjoyed the doggy and the flirting,” Daphne, 90, “loved all the naughty bits!!!” Avon House, Worthing, resident Phyllis, 92, said, “BEST SHOW I’ve seen,” and Margaret, 91, from Quinton House Care Home, Stratford, “thought the dog was marvellous – can I keep her?”
Norah was an intrinsic part of the performance, performing tricks and charming the audiences throughout. Residents had the chance to meet her after the show, which proved hugely popular. A staff member at Greenhill Park Care Home said, “After 14 very long months, residents connecting with Norah the dog was so emotional to see; it lifted their hearts,” and Red House Care Home, Rugby, summed up many responses by saying, “You captured the heart of everyone here. To see everyone laughing was priceless, it meant the world to us,”
When asked for a comment, Norah said, “My favourite bit is when I put on my pink tutu and balance elegantly on the Zimmer frame, alongside a disco bubble machine, and glide around the stage to Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake – after that the residents are putty in my paws.”
Performances around Worthing were facilitated by Worthing Theatres. CEO Amanda O’Reilly said, ‘We were thrilled to have been able to facilitate Love Through Double Glazing coming to Worthing. It offered a unique opportunity for local care home residents to see live theatre from the comfort and safety of their homes, providing interaction, a sense of connection and most of all some uplifting fun when it was needed most.’