Arts & Culture

Human Story Theatre Breathes life, humanity and even laughs into the topic of dementia with its play Connie’s Colander

By Cait Sweeney at

Human Story Theatre Breathes life, humanity and even laughs into the topic of dementia with its play Connie’s Colander, touring to libraries nationally

Oxford based Human Story Theatre is performing its critically-acclaimed hour-long play Connie’s Colander in libraries across the South and South East this summer. Human Story Theatre’s pioneering tour will promote libraries as a new space for ‘pop-up’ theatre companies in the heart of ordinary people’s communities, where ticket prices are either very low or free to audiences.

Written by Human Story Theatre’s Gaye Poole, Connie’s Colander is a charming two-hander play intertwining a mother and daughter’s journey with dementia. “The acting is a tour de force by Amy Enticknap, as daughter, and Gaye Poole as her mother. Yet, despite the subject material, the play is alive with good humour…” Daily Info
Connie is a retired domestic science teacher. Emily, her daughter, is enjoying hosting her first TV cookery show: Connie’s Colander, bringing her mother’s recipes onscreen and up to date. This newly written play traces the evolving relationship throughout their lives, and the impact of Connie’s Alzheimer’s. Can their relationship, and the TV show, survive?

Like with all Human Story Theatre productions this is a stripped back, ‘no frills’ approach to theatre that focuses on the play and the acting, creating an atmosphere that is both intimate and informal.

This atmosphere is then continued by the actors after the show, who facilitate a 20 minute Q&A with guest specialists offering information and stories of living well with dementia. The audience is encouraged to share their own experiences, building on the story within the play, both to ‘offload’ and also to help support fellow audience members, and often people are signposted to services.

**** The Oxford Times. “This is a compelling play – excellently acted”
“… beautifully crafted, tightly written, intensely poignant and moving exploration of the effect of dementia on a mother and her daughter… a short dramatic jewel.” (Daily Info)

“The evening was absolutely brilliant, and as a ‘carer’ who has just been through this first-hand, I need to tell you that the content and portrayal of this condition is absolutely superb; you capture the ups and downs of the relationship perfectly.” (Allison Thomlinson, Manager of Thame Library, Oxfordshire)

“For us, Human Story Theatre are a valuable and useful addition to our programme, tackling social and community issues but doing so with engaging, well-made pieces of theatre.”
(John Terry, Artistic Director, The Theatre Chipping Norton)

Connie’s Colonder will be on tour 27 June – 24 July, appearing at Temple Cowley Library 6 July at 7pm for other performance dates and venues please visit: www.humanstorytheatre.com