No one can really imagine what it’s like to live with dementia until sadly we or someone close to us experiences it firsthand. However, Alex O’Toole, director of Lytham based Fable Arts, together with Ludus Dance are producing a wonderful project to help us all to understand it a little better.

Dare to be Great is a collaboration between Clifton Hospital staff and the patients living with dementia and Ludus Dance, working with a team of young people to create a brand new piece of physical theatre about living with dementia.

Over the last six weeks, the young people from all over the Fylde Coast, under the creativity and direction of Ludus Dance, have undertaken training in dance, interview techniques, audio recording and working with people with dementia. They have gathered stories directly from people living with dementia at Clifton Hospital, taken part in chair based movement workshops; collated their findings, devised narratives, choreographed, built sets and rehearsed long and hard to develop a work that Alex describes as ‘heart warming and heart wrenching in equal measure’.

During the week of the Lytham Festival they’ll perform their work in the streets and public gardens of Lytham before a final performance on the main stage at the West End Proms night at Lytham Festival.

It is hoped that the Dare to be Great project can help more people understand what it’s like to live with dementia and how they can support facilities and support groups who provide vital care, and fundraising to help those affected.

Alex O’toole had the inspiration for this amazing project and went on to secure funding from United Utilities Community Foundation for Lancashire, Fylde Council, Lancashire Community Fund, and Lytham Festival organisers, Cuffe & Taylor.

Alex told us, “We are so excited to show what our amazing young people have created to help raise awareness of dementia and what it’s like to live with dementia.”

Dare To Be Great, outdoor performances are free and are taking place at the following times and locations: Wednesday 2 August at 2pm & 3pm in Lytham Square, Thursday 3 August at 2pm & 3pm in Lowther Gardens, Friday 4 August at 2pm & 3pm at Clifton Hospital and Saturday 5 August at 2pm & 3pm in Lytham Square.

The piece will also be performed as part of the West End Proms night-ticketed event on Sunday 6th August  at Lytham Festival Arena.

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