ThE­ATRE AN EvENING WITh DEMENTIA tH­eSPaceS on tHe mile @ tHe raDiSSon (Venue 39) HHHHH

The Scotsman - - Fringereviews Hotshow -

“DO I need tis­sues, am I go­ing to cry?” an au­di­ence mem­ber ten­ta­tively asks as we are shown into a room, within which an old man sits on a raised stage, qui­etly shak­ing.

But de­spite the weighty sub­ject mat­ter, Trevor T Smith’s one-man show about “a brave spirit fiercely liv­ing out the col­lapse of his mind” is both in­sight­ful and un­der­cut with a sur­pris­ingly up­beat sense of hu­mour.

his name­less char­ac­ter (“never use a name, even if you think you know it” he ad­vises) is at times all too aware of what is hap­pen­ing to him. In­deed, he is bril­liantly as­tute when ob­serv­ing pa­tro­n­is­ing relatives and the ten­dency for the “blue coats” in the home where he lives to ad­min­is­ter pills at the drop of a hat.

Like Trevor, our fic­tional host has an im­pres­sive back­ground in the­atre and it is fas­ci­nat­ing how seam­lessly this bril­liant ac­tor merges with his char­ac­ter. In­deed, the show plays around with what is real and what isn’t in a way that clev­erly draws us in. Ul­ti­mately, the well-paced script suc­ceeds in high­light­ing the un­seen hu­man­ity of a dementia suf­ferer, but it’s dif­fi­cult not to be left feel­ing pow­er­less by the end, since there is lit­tle we can cur­rently do to pro­tect our­selves or oth­ers from such a soul-de­stroy­ing ill­ness.

SALLy STOTT

Un­til to­day,4:05pm.

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