Compelling theatre about dementia comes to Down Arts Centre

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Thursday, June 11th, 2015
Community, What's On
Down Arts Centre is delighted to host a unique and moving performance that makes a tender exploration of the effects of Alzheimer’s Disease on one woman’s life, Let Me Stay, on Saturday 20th June at 8pm. Let me stay1Living with dementia? You’re having a laugh! Written and performed by Julie McNamara, Let Me Stay is a tender and unique exploration of the impact of Alzheimer’s on family relations. Julie McNamara has recorded her Mother’s songs and stories, filmed and photographed her in all her glory, over many years. The result is a compelling piece of theatre, an extraordinary love letter straight from the heart, wielded with a wicked sense of humour. Let Me Stay is a celebration of life and love as seen through the eyes of Shirley McNamara, Julie’s mother, Queen of the Mersey. Alzheimer’s does not have to be a tragic and apologetic withdrawal from life. Think of it as a shedding of all care, with two fingers at the world and a constant sense of glee. It’s a lifestyle choice for some. Driven by a passion for social justice, Julie McNamara’s work focuses on forgotten voices. Her writing comes from vivid landscapes of madness and moves the audience from bleak spaces into a gleeful absurdity. She is a great advocate within Disability Arts and is constantly seeking out imaginative solutions to open out her work to new audiences. This performance is supported by Arts & Disability Forum. Down Arts Centre provides step-free access. The show includes BSL interpretation, Captioning and Audio Description. Spice up your Friday lunchtime at Soup and a Song, hosted by Denvir’s Hotel, on Friday 19th June at 1pm. This week, Belfast-based singer and performer Geoff Hatt will entertain you with a variety of songs, followed by a delicious bowl of soup. Geoff has a music-hall style that is whimsical and uplifting with plenty of light and shade, from songs about beards to love and loss, on his trusty ukulele or guitar. Don’t forget – Creating Connections, a 6-week programme of events aimed at older adults, including those at risk of isolation or with a learning disability, takes place every Wednesday morning from 10.30am – 1pm. They will be showing a variety of fun and inspiring films celebrating older people, and with tea, coffee and conversation on tap it’s a great morning out! The events are free and full programme details are available at To purchase tickets (Soup and a Song £10 / £8; Let Me Stay £10 / £8) and for further information on any Down Arts Centre events, please contact the box office on 028 4461 0747 or visit For offers and updates, like them on Facebook (Down-Arts-Centre).
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