Writer: Steve Cooper
Paradise Lodge is based on the real experiences that Steve Cooper had during the time he cared for his mother in law. It’s that stripped back raw emotion that shines through in this bittersweet comedy.
Set as a care home entertainment package, the production works with war time songs and brief scenes that flash back to a couple of the residents’ pasts using only a couple of items of clothing. These slowly start to show the vicious nature of the condition while also shows the impact it has on the families and friends around them. The audience today were mostly elderly and it was a joy to see the smile on their own faces as they got the chance to join in with some war time classics.
Even as one of the younger audience members It was very easy to be absorbed into this performance and appreciate the ups and downs of living with dementia. The audience engagement that this performance creates really aids you to put yourself into the minds of the people it represents while also showing the impact they have on others.
Despite the theme, this production is far from downbeat or dry. Quite the opposite, Cooper’s script has great pacing and shows our own ability to see humour in times of troubles. While yes , there is an important message that underpins the price, it also makes clear that despite the challenges these characters now have, they still have far more to five and stories to share.
Dementia remains a largely untapped topic in the arts, but this brand new production makes it a topic you can understand, appreciate and engage with. This is a sweet, sincere and comical production made straight from the heart.
*Decision based on an opening night discounted price of £11 and a 80p booking fee. For more info on this value for money rating please visit here: Introducing a new kind of rating