Unique play throws light on early onset demetia

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Don’t Leave Me Now

Halifax Central Library, Wednesday, November 28 2.30pm and 5.30pm - Q&A follows both performances

Yorkshire playwright Brian Daniels will open an awareness day on early onset dementia at Halifax Central library - attended the the Mayor and Mayoress of Calderdale - and take a central role in two performances of his play Don’t Leave Me Now. The play explores with humour and insight the impact on two very different families before and after a dementia diagnosis and is based on two true stories. Where does love end and duty begin – or does it? Performed by Daniels, Marie Fortune, Julie Higginson, Martina McClements, Annie Swale it was inspired by the story of Leeds Professor Rachael Dixey and her partner and that of Chris Toulman and his wife. Professor Dixey nursed her partner through early onset dementia for ten years. She wrote daily in her journal about her experiences, now available in book form: ‘Irene, Alzheimer’s and Me’. The other story is that of Chris Toulman whose wife Cindy visited him daily in a Yorkshire Care Home for the last seven years of his life. The playwright weaves the strands of these two stories to create a drama with authenticity and impact. Endorsed by all major Dementia Charities, the National Council for Palliative Care, Cruse and Age Concern the play has had close to 200 performed play readings throughout the UK and Ireland. It has been professionally filmed by the NHS for use in training health care professionals. Between 1997 and 2011 Daniels was Artistic Director of the New End Theatre, Hampstead and Shaw Theatre, Euston where he produced larger scale theatrical events and concerts with global superstars including Dionne Warwick and Elaine Stritch. The Halifax event has been organised by YODA, Calderdale’s only age-relevant dementia support group.Tickets cost £8 - £10 from 01422 392 630