This enthralling monologue from Trevor T. Smith is a rare occasion: a spellbinding theatrical treat yet it has been adopted by the British Medical Council as an example of CPD for Doctors and Carers as an insight into the isolation, complications and perceptions we have of a patient with Dementia.
The skill of the writing and performance is without question. It is both insightful and poignant, a gaze into the past of an aging actor who sits in safety in his chair observing the day go by. The past reality mixes with his dreams and actually very little is clear but it is an upbeat, humorous play; cut through with moments of sheer loss and loneliness.
There is a truth and honesty in the fine writing that the audience might well want to believe how a dementia patient might feel. That the patient’s cunning, wit and mind games really do exist inside those cut off from the world around them. This of course cannot be proven and formed a returning issue during the post show discussion.
This is an impressive piece of theatre; it is easy to see how it has become such a popular play with such accolades. Regardless of the medical arguments, Smith is a fine actor who has scripted a great vehicle for his skills.
The Ustinov was rightly packed and the show returns next Saturday 30th January at 8pm – get a ticket quick.
**** (4 stars)