EVERY three minutes someone will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, a total of 225,000 people a year, according to the Alzheimer’s Society. Now, in an effort to raise awareness of the disease, a play called The Cleverest Thief by Smoke Tree Theatre will be performed at the University of Huddersfield during National Dementia Awareness Week (15-21 May).
Written by Caroline Coxon and directed by Paul David Ratcliffe, The Cleverest Thief is performed by Libby Wattis and follows Florence in her journey to the lost land of Alzheimer’s disease. This fictional account, explores the experience of dementia ‘from the inside’ as Florence and her family see her memories jumbled and stolen by The Cleverest Thief.
The play takes its title from a quote by author and slogan writer Jarod Kintz, who said: “Alzheimer’s is the cleverest thief. She not only steals from you, she steals the very thing that you need to remember what has been stolen”.
“Whether you’ve been affected by dementia or not, dementia is something that is happening to people around us,” said Dr Golding. “By engaging with our communities around the theme of dementia, we are creating a space for conversation and using the arts, performance and theatre is a great way for people to learn to become more dementia-friendly,” she added.
The message of this year’s National Dementia Awareness Week, organised by the Alzheimer’s Society, is to encourage people who are concerned about dementia to confront their worries and address it directly by coming to the Alzheimer’s Society for information and support.
The play will be performed on 16 May at 5.30pm with registration open 30 minutes earlier. Although the event is free tickets still have to be booked. Donations will be gratefully received and will be split between the Alzheimer’s Society, Dementia UK and Alzheimer’s Research.