Scottish shows go dementia-friendly

Scottish Opera is the latest UK company to put on a relaxed performance, with a dementia-friendly staging of The Marriage of Figaro on 12 November. In addition, Festival Theatre Edinburgh will stage a dementia-friendly performance of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (starring Jason Manford and Phil Jupitus) on 14 October.

Both shows are the result of a new partnership between the companies and the Life Changes Trust. The shows will be abridged, sound and lighting levels will be altered and the opera will be accompanied by a narrator.

Said Scottish Opera general director Alex Reedijk: ‘This initiative builds on the success of the work that both parties have already undertaken to open up access to the arts to people living with dementia, and we are very proud to continue to bring opera performance to a wider audience.’

The Marriage of Figaro is directed by Thomas Allen, with Andrew McTaggart as Figaro, Lucy Hall as Susanna, Pauls Putnins as Count Almaviva, Marie McLaughlin as Marcellina and Emma Kerr as Cherubino. The show will be narrated by Allan Dunn.

‘It seemed the perfect opportunity to offer this key group of people in our community the chance to attend a performance that is specially adapted to fulfil their needs and that will help to ensure that they can continue to enjoy live opera,’ commented Scottish Opera director of outreach and education Jane Davidson.

Tickets are now on sale for the dementia-friendly performances of both The Marriage of Figaro and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which cost GBP10 (€12) and GBP12 respectively.