Theatre & Dementia Project - 'Smallest Story'

An Arts project Berwick-upon-Tweed, United Kingdom

The Smallest Story Ever Told is a new play encouraging audiences to talk more openly about experiences of death, loss & overcoming grief.

The Tideline Runners Theatre Company - Associate Company of The Maltings’ Theatre in Berwick-Upon-Tweed - are developing a new play exploring early-onset dementia in collaboration with Arts Council England & Alzheimer’s Society UK this October.

The Smallest Story Ever Told is a vital new play which aims to encourage audiences to talk more openly and honestly about their experiences of death, loss & overcoming grief.

Through following the lives of Amy & Charlie Donnelly (respectively a children's literature author & illustrator) in reverse from post-death to pre-diagnosis - after Amy learns she is living with early-onset dementia - this new play highlights the importance of precious memories shared with the ones we love, and how devotion & heroism can often be the same thing.


The cast and creative team meet Wendy Mitchell - a blogger living with dementia

The Tideline Runners are undertaking two weeks’ development of the play in residency at The Maltings Theatre (Berwick) in partnership with Alzheimer’s Society UK. They have organised workshops with multiple charities and individuals with experience of dementia across London, Oxford and Berwick to aid their examination into people’s experiences of the condition.

Some of our partners include Young Dementia UK, Lewisham MindCare, Age Exchange and Creative Dementia Arts Network alongside Alzheimer’s Society UK.

The Tideline Runners are the first company to be offered Associate Company status by The Maltings Theatre. The theatre is also helping The Tideline Runners begin building relationships for the enablement of a national tour of the play following this development.

The cast meet Age Exchange UK and decorate cakes! All in the name of research

The cast meet Age Exchange UK and decorate cakes! All in the name of research

The research & development process will conclude with a public sharing at The Maltings Theatre, for audiences to discover more about the company’s journey throughout this process – including what they learned from the workshops, how they approached re-developing the script, characters and production elements, and a Q&A with the company.

This sharing is free and takes place at the Maltings on Friday 14th October at 6pm.

The Smallest Story Ever Told was initially performed as a work-in-progress at The King’s Head Theatre in London, where it received critical acclaim and gained an overwhelmingly positive response from audiences:

★★★★ “A truly remarkable new work from R J Wilkinson.” – Carn’s Theatre Passion

★★★★ “A brave and beautiful piece of work.” – Scott Roberts, Blogger

“A story with real poignancy.” – London Pub Theatres

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