FOUND IN TRANSLATION
It was in response to the service users we met during past performances in care centres that inspired the idea of creating new work in care. After a show, so many of the audience members would tell the collective their stories and how they’d once donned the stage; written poetry, books, enjoyed the local dance hall and played music. They were often quite vocal throughout the show as well, eager to be involved. One of the difficulties of providing this entertainment is finding the balance between providing a story that’s stimulating by being something they can relate to while maintaining the level of professional, innovative and contemporary theatre that is set out to achieve. Therefore, we came up with the idea to create plays based on their thoughts, emotions, aspirations and memories. Which is when we formed the project Found In Translation .
The title of this project is based on the fact that dementia can create a barrier in communication, and often causes frustration between the person living with the disease and the carer/loved one. So rather than this difficulty to understand these thoughts and memories being a barrier and ‘lost in translation’ we wanted to use the language, movement, sound and shared moments to create new writing, finding something positive, beautiful and fresh from the collaboration between our team and the clients.
Found In Translation was a four stage theatrical project where The Dot Collective creative team worked directly with those living with dementia through a series of creative writing workshops. During these workshops they developed short stories and poetry both fictional and based on their thoughts, feelings and memories. These stories were then developed by professional playwrights and rehearsed to performance standard. The plays were performed back to the care centres involved in the workshops with the professional pop-up theatre structure. These play were also performed for the general public during dementia awareness week. All of the writing from the project, including the short stories and poetry written by the clients went into a book that was published in September 2017.
‘Poetry brings a different world to you
It brings things as I would like them to be
And not as they are.’ - Anon
Coinciding with Dementia Awareness Week in May 2017, The Dot Collective ran a series of storytelling and creative writing workshops with care centres in the South East, where many of the participants live with dementia or severe memory problems. This collection of poems, short stories and plays is the result of those workshops where the participants shared their memories, feelings, ambitions through poetic form and let their imagination take them on trips to an unknown islands, houses made of white wool, back in time to Brighton West Pier or to a perfect world where there’s no need to wear trousers. The plays were developed from their stories by playwrights Alexander Moschos and Hester Kent. The final plays were toured as a professional performance to all the care centres involved in the project and to the general public. Found In Translation is a collaboration between the participants of those care centres and The Dot Collective.
‘One of the best monologues I’ve had the privilege to see. Period.’
★★★★★ - Breaking the Fourth Wall