Article Source: Outspoken Arts Scotland
First Published: 31 August 2021 18:40
Updated: 31 August 2021 18:40
The Paisley Suite is three, 30–45-minute new monologues exploring the lives and experiences of people in care and care settings with a strong accent on mental health, wellbeing, and creative ageing.
Written by some of Scotland’s top writers: Zoe Strachan and Louise Welsh; Lisa Nicoll and Jack Dickson - the monologues feature performances from award-winning Scottish actors from stage and screen: Ann Louise Ross; Janette Foggo and Benny Young. The Paisley Suite will tour live theatres in Spring 2022.
Mary McCluskey, Director, The Paisley Suite, said: “I feel privileged to have been asked by Outspoken Arts to direct this important piece of work. Each of the writers has created strong, inspirational characters that are positive role models for people over the age of 60 years. Johnny, Edna, and Sandy are memorable characters who will stay with us long after the monologue is done. It has been a joy to work with excellent writers and superb actors. I look forward to bringing them to life on film this year and on-stage next year.”
Lisa Nicoll, who wrote Lovely Peas, commented: “Writing the Lovely Peas has allowed me to give a working-class voice to a woman who is strong and gallous but is struggling to keep connected to the world through the onset of dementia. I wanted to create a character who audiences can love & laugh with and show she has had a life and isn't just a number in our care system.”
Commenting on her role as Edna in Lovely Peas, Janette Foggo, said: “Lisa's very moving play touches on memory, food, love remembered, isolation, loneliness. And dancing. It's challenging remembering what to forget but a real pleasure to be working again on something so rewarding.”
Jack Dickson, who wrote The Registrars Final Entry, commented: “The Registrar's Final Entry has been a real labour of love for me: not only have I had the chance to memorialise two very dear friends, but I've been able to pay tribute the invaluable work our Carers do, despite terrible wages and often in very trying circumstances. BIG thanks to Steven for the commission and my eternal gratitude to the astonishing Benny Young - aided and abetted by Mary McCluskey - for bringing "Johnny" to life.”
Commenting on his role as Johnny in The Registrar’s Final Entry, Benny Young, said: “Relationships are difficult at the best of times. After 43 years together, Hector and Johnnie are not quite as they were. Add to thus illness and ageing. Maybe humour is the only way to see it through. I enjoyed working on this, even if frustrated by lack of real contact due to Covid 19.”
Dr Zoe Strachan and Louise Welsh, who co-wrote Something in the Air, said: “We felt very lucky to have a chance to make work under current circumstances; collaborating in lockdown was a challenge, but also a joy. Being so confined geographically made us think of Paisley as a place connected with the world throughout its airport. With Something in the Air, we really wanted to engage with an issue that's close to our hearts - the anxiety many queer people feel around the possibility of needing care when older. It was vital to us that we write an older character, specifically an older woman, who was spirited, uncompromising and great fun - someone with agency and stories to tell. The casting is a dream come true: Annie Louise Ross is absolutely perfect!”
Commenting on her role as Sarah, Annie Louise Ross, said: “When Sandy sings ‘I am what I am, I am my own special creation’ it sums up this spirited, independent woman who despite being of a ‘certain age’ and having had a fall on the ice, still has an unstoppable zest for life. Thank you, Zoe and Louise for introducing me to her.”
The monologues are now available to view on YouTube https://youtu.be/UlxGKH7Er1U and will be shown on Renfrewshire Leisure’s RenTV on 1st, 2nd and 3rd September at 8pm.
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