An evening with dementia
- By: Harriet Vickers
Trevor T Smith was inspired to write this hour long monologue, which he also performs, after reading the poem A crabbit old woman by an old woman in a geriatric ward. The play shows the confusion, memory loss and depression that come with dementia, and it’s a beautifully unfolding, engaging, and entertaining piece of theatre.
The central character—a nameless old man—has some tips. The first is to sit still and say little. The second is never to use a name “if you can help it. Names get you into hot water.” Another is to employ the irrelevant answer, for instance “Who’s the US president?” should receive “I do like his wife.” And lastly give everyone the “peaceful but mock recognition treatment” with “Hello dear” for women and “Alright mate?” for men.
These strategies enable him to navigate his life, to deal with the over familiar visitors, social workers, and “blue