2019 to present
Written and directed by Guy le Jeune
Cast: Eoghan Mac Giolla Bhridge and Valerie Bryce
The script for ‘The Songbirds’, an innovative new piece of theatre developed by An Grianán Theatre, has been informed by interviews involving people living with dementia who participated in an Ulster University research study on reminiscence led by the School of Nursing.
The Songbirds is a play about memory, humanity, love and life. It is also a play that explores the lived experience of people living with dementia and celebrates their lives and stories.
The piece is a two hander, performed by Donegal actors Eoghan Mac Giolla Bhridge and Valerie Bryce, and was written and directed by Guy Le Jeune (Shaking the Tale, Fiesta), whose practice is in the area of reminiscence theatre and theatre from memory.
It has received remarkable audience feedback from student nurses, junior doctors, consultant psychiatrists, secondary school students and from people living with dementia themselves.
“Two brilliant actors presented the paly Songbirds to the members of Dementia NI at Shaftsbury Square, and to be honest, I was totally overwhelmed. Every action mirrored the day to day life of having a family member with dementia. So much of our time is repetition and reminding my husband of things that happen in our lives and the actors portrayed this. It also showed that just take each day as it comes, still try to make memories and above all, laugh and have fun. The writer and everyone involved deserve recognition for the brilliant job they have done and hopefully it cab be televised and put out there as it really can help families. Take plenty of tissues as I am still crying with sadness and laughter, 3 days later.” Linda Marmion
“The Songbirds was absolutely brilliant. I thought it looked really good on the video but live it was terrific. The end of the piece of so moving, everyone loved it.” Eamon Quinn, Director, Engage With Age