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West Yorkshire Playhouse to tour short plays co-written by people living with dementia into care homes

Three, a triple bill of short plays co-written by people living with dementia commissioned by West Yorkshire Playhouse, will tour care homes and community settings in and around Leeds, with performances sponsored by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), which supports the research of the NHS.

Part of the West Yorkshire Playhouse’s Every Third Minute festival of theatre, dementia and hope, the trio of 15-minute plays performed one after the other have been co-written by people with dementia and professional writers, making its debut at West Yorkshire Playhouse on 9 March.

The production will then tour for two weeks (12 March – 24 March) to care homes and community centres around Leeds. Engaging with a wide variety of residential care settings, the Playhouse’s Community Partner Areas will be locations on the tour, such as Rothwell and Armley.

NIHR staff will host research cafes at two of the tour venues: Seacroft Grange, a care village in Seacroft on 15 March, and the Ramgarhia Sikh Centre in Leeds, on 18 March. The research cafes will be relaxed, informal gatherings giving members of the public the chance to get involved in research into dementia through the Join Dementia Research initiative.

Join Dementia Research is a service which allows people to register their interest in participating in dementia research and be matched to suitable studies. It is led by the NIHR in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society, Alzheimer’s Research UK and Alzheimer Scotland.

West Yorkshire Playhouse Theatre and Dementia Research Associate Nicky Taylor said: “We’re delighted to be working with the National Institute for Health Research as Associate Sponsor of the Three care homes and community centres tour. Three celebrates the potential and creativity of people living with dementia, demonstrating that the stories they choose to share are valid and important.

“West Yorkshire Playhouse relishes the opportunity to share artistic work that promotes awareness of dementia within our Leeds community. By working with the NIHR, we’re hoping theatre can act as a conversation starter, to increase understanding of the importance of research in improving the experiences of people living with dementia and their families and to find new ways to start discussing health, creativity and living well.”

Evie Chandler, Patient Public and Carer Involvement and Engagement Officer at the NIHR, said: “It’s wonderful that we have partnered with the West Yorkshire Playhouse to take our message of research and hope out to the community.

“We’re really looking forward to meeting people and sharing with them the possibilities of getting involved in dementia research.”

Acknowledging that every three minutes in the UK someone will begin living with dementia, West Yorkshire Playhouse’s Every Third Minute festival of theatre, dementia and hope is the very first of its kind. Curated by people living with dementia, Every Third Minute puts people living with dementia at the heart of the creative process, and features an outstanding programme of theatre, performance and live music.

Every Third Minute builds on the Playhouse’s pioneering work with people living with dementia, designed and delivered by the theatre’s award-winning Creative Engagement team.

Every Third Minute runs until Saturday 31 March.

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