Gail Young is a writer living in Guilden Sutton, a Cheshire village, where amateur theatre plays an important role in the community.
Gail’s first full-length play, CHESHIRE CATS, is a comedy drama about a group of women who set out to raise funds for a breast cancer charity. Following publication by Samuel French, CHESHIRE CATS received great acclaim having been performed by groups not only in the UK and at the Edinburgh Fringe but internationally – and has become a major fundraiser for charity.
Gail’s second full-length play, BOTHERED AND BEWILDERED, deals with the problems of dementia. Gail’s father-in-law, Walter Young, had been afflicted with Alzheimers some years previously and the experience of watching his deterioration had stayed with her and prompted her to write the play. Two former colleagues, Lesley and Elizabeth, shared their recent experiences of dealing with their mother’s battle with Alzheimers and eventual move to a care home. Their contribution provided the material to make this truthful and poignant account of living with dementia.
Gail describes the play as:
a comedy drama about life, love and loss. As the audience watch Irene and her family struggle with Alzheimers, Irene’s past passion for romantic fiction blurs with reality and she discusses with Barbara Cartland, Irene’s favourite romantic novelist, how best to write her ‘memory book.’
Guilden Sutton Village Hall, the hub of the community and home to Guilden Sutton Village Players, was the first testing ground for BOTHERED AND BEWILDERED before an invited audience including those whose families had been affected by dementia and who been part of the writer’s research and fundraisers from The Countess of Chester Hospital Trust.
The first reading, followed by a Q&A.
An open audition was held at the Forum Theatre, Chester, home of Tip Top Productions.
Following rehearsals at the village hall, books down and rehearsals at the Forum Theatre.
Time for the dress rehearsal prior to five performances at The Forum Theatre, Chester.
Irene Julia Bona
Louise Alison Pritchard
Beth Eileen Reisen
Barabara Cartland Tiz Corcoran
Young Irene Leah Paris Bell
Shelly Leah Paris Bell
Jim Ally Goodman
James Ally Goodman
NHS Consultant Catherine Bryant
Community Policeman Neil Mason
Voice of local GP Mark Shenton
Director Gail Young
Producer Brian Fray
Sound Abbie Taylor
Lighting Mark Shenton
Props Annette Clemence
Wardrobe Sally Dillon
Choreography Pam Evans Hughes and Nick Leeson
Set design & artwork Pippa Redmayne
At the end of the performances of BOTHERED AND BEWILDERED, more than £6,000 had been raised towards supporting the well-being of patients with dementia at The Countess of Chester and Ellesmere Port Hospitals.
BOTHERED AND BEWILDERED is to be published in 2015 by Samuel French and is previewed on their website where a pre-publication manuscript is posted.