A play focusing on family care issues before and after a diagnosis of dementia will be performed at Leeds Trinity University for Dementia Awareness Week on Friday 19 May.

Don’t Leave Me Now, written by award-winning Leeds playwright Brian Daniels and directed by Jeni Draper, will be presented as a dramatised play reading by five professional actors from New End Theatre Beyond.

It explores the impact of early onset dementia on two very different family units and is inspired by the journals of Professor Rachael Dixey from Leeds, who nursed her long-term partner Irene through early onset dementia. The play also focuses on Cindy Toulman from Harrogate, who visited her husband in a care home, each day, for the last seven years of his life.

“Dementia is a life-limiting illness with a debilitating impact on family life; the devastating effects on memory and behaviour, and the vulnerability of the person diagnosed,” said Brian Daniels. “But there’s also love, acceptance and humour, and I wanted to incorporate and balance the two in this play.”

Hosted by Horsforth Town Council, Don’t Leave Me Now concludes a week of activities across Horsforth for Dementia Awareness Week, including talks, presentations and coffee mornings.

The play has had more than 120 performances throughout the UK and is seen as a valuable educational tool for families, health authorities, GPs, universities, colleges and NHS Trusts. It is endorsed by dementia charities The Alzheimer’s Society, Dementia UK, Dementia Pathfinders and Care England, and the performance at Leeds Trinity University is supported by the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society.

Don’t Leave Me Now takes place at 6.30pm on Friday 19 May at Leeds Trinity University, with refreshments available from 6pm.

The play is free and is open to all members of the public. Tickets can be secured online through Eventbrite or in person from the reception desk at Leeds Trinity University and Horsforth Community Hub Library.


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