“Dementia is the illness we fear most”

[caption id="attachment_1399" align="alignright" width="232"] Brian Daniels rehearsing for"Don't Leave Me Now"[/caption] Fear of dementia has overtaken cancer, according to a new study commissioned by Saga, which shows that 43% of people over 50 fear developing dementia more than any other illness. The Kicking the Bucket Festival knows that facing our fears can help reduce them – so has invited New End Theatre to present DON’T LEAVE ME NOW by acclaimed playwright Brian Daniels on 5th November.  Just as important, after the play there will be a chance to hear from someone with dementia, and from practitioners with huge experience of it, about sensitive ways of relating to someone with the illness to try to ensure their wellbeing.   Book tickets now! Here’s more about it- ‘the play is subtly powerful, sympathetic and sharp, sad and funny and hearing it read engages me as seeing it performed might not have done. Where dementia is the villain, words are priceless’Howard Jacobson, Booker Prize winning author (The New Statesman, May 2016) The play DON’T LEAVE ME NOW by playwright Brian Daniels with a cast of five professional actors will perform two dramatised ‘script in hand’ play readings on Saturday 5 November matinee at 4.30pm followed by a post show discussion led by Hazel May, dementia care specialist, and Anna Eden from Young Dementia UK. DON’T LEAVE ME NOW explores with humour and insight the impact on two very different Yorkshire families, before and after, an early onset dementia diagnosis. Where does love end and duty begin – or does it? DON’T LEAVE ME NOW was inspired by two true stories; that  of Professor Rachael Dixey who nursed her partner, Irene, through early onset dementia for ten years, recording her experiences  now published as ‘Our Dementia Diary – Irene, Alzheimer’s and Me’ by Medina Press. The other story is that of Chris Toulman whose wife Cindy devotedly visited him at the care home every day and all day for the last seven years of his life. Playwright Brian Daniels weaves the strands of these two stories to create a drama with authenticity and impact. DON’T LEAVE ME NOW is endorsed by all major Dementia Charities, the National Council for Palliative Care, Cruse Bereavement Care and Age UK, and has had over 100 dramatized performed readings in UK and Ireland.  It has been professionally filmed by the NHS for use in training Health Care professionals about the Mental Capacity Act. A full scale London production is planned for 2017. -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Brian Daniels is an established playwright and theatre practitioner. His recent work includes: ‘Where’s Your Mama Gone’ a play based on the experiences of two children whose mother fell victim to a serial killer. A Heritage Lottery Funded exhibition was created around the play looking at heritage loss in looked after children. The play has been widely performed – six weeks at the Carriageworks Theatre, Leeds, four weeks at the New End Theatre, London, four weeks at the Hen & Chickens Theatre, London and a feature film which starts shooting in 2017. ‘A Big Day for the Goldbergs’ a comedy looking at provincial Jewish life and premiered at the Leeds Jewish Performing Arts Festival in 2011 with subsequent productions at Leeds Carriageworks Theatre, the New End Theatre, Hampstead, Edinburgh Festival and toured throughout the UK. ‘The Good and the True’ adapted from the original play produced by Svandovo Divadlo (Prague’s leading repertory theatre) and collaborating with Prague City Hall, this play toured the UK and ran in New York – off- Broadway for 8 weeks in the Summer of 2012. It was also performed for the United Nations New York and will play China in 2017. ‘Don’t Leave Me Now’ a play exploring the impact of early onset dementia on two very different families and inspired by two real stories. This play has had more than 80 performances throughout the UK and a full scale London production is planned for 2017. 2016 commissions include ‘Homeward Bound’ and ‘Bounce Back Boy’ both commissioned by the National Council for Palliative Care to be performed to engage care and health professionals to look at the complex issues around palliative care. ‘Finishing Touches’, commissioned by a major London legal firm, explores the impact of childhood sexual and physical abuse/grooming on the later lives of people. This play will be workshopped at the Barbican Theatre, London in August 2016. Between 1997 and 2011 Brian was Artistic Director of the New End Theatre, Hampstead where he produced more than 200 new plays, musicals and cultural events. He was concurrently Artistic Director of the Shaw Theatre, Euston where he produced larger scale theatrical events and concerts with artists including Eartha Kitt, Elaine Stritch, Michael Feinstein, Elaine Paige, Gloria Gaynor, Boy George, Dionne Warwick, Chita Rivera and numerous others. Many of these concerts toured the UK. He was also Artistic Director of the New Players Theatre, London and the Grace Theatre, Battersea. He is currently Artistic Director of the New End Theatre Beyond. He is a Board member of the Royal Victoria Hall Foundation, an Adviser to Phoenix Dance Theatre, Leeds and the newly created Fitzrovia Chapel Arts Centre, London. Brian Daniels was the CEO of Daniels Bates Partnership with a Head Office in Leeds and 14 UK offices between 1983 and 2004. New End Theatre presents ‘Script in hand’ performance of  Don’t Leave Me Now Written by Brian Daniels, Directed by Jeni Draper Cast: Brian Daniels, Marie Fortune, Shenagh Govan, Karen Spicer, Sophie Turner On Saturday 5 November 2016  At 4.30pm  At:  Friends Meeting House, 43 St Giles, Oxford OX1 3LW Tickets £8/£6 conc To book tickets please contact  http://www.wegottickets.com/event/370417 Ahuva Cohen, Press & Marketing, New End Theatre Beyond, 07973 197 433 ahuvacohen@btinternet.comwww.dontleavemenow.co.uk