Bothered and Bewildered

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.

 

 

CAST

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.

10 Replies to “Bothered and Bewildered”

  1. Sylvia, I love this whole series of “start to finish” photographs. I really got a sense of just how much work must have gone into this production from casting through to the actual performances. Like one of the commentators on the Samuel French website, I’m not too sure just how many laughs such a tale might inspire but I’ll probably get the script when it’s published anyway – perhaps better to boo hoo on my own before I risk doing the same in public! Excellent work as always – well done.

  2. I cant thank you enough Sylvia for all the hard work you have put into this visual account of the development and production of my play ‘Bothered and Bewildered’. I have posted the link on the Samuel French face book page. You’re a star !

    1. And I can’t thank you enough, Gail, for your generosity in allowing me to be part of the recording of the process of making your beautiful piece of theatre – and for making me so welcome! Thanks also to your cast and stage crew for accommodating me – not easy to do your stuff as an actor with someone lurking in the background taking photos!

  3. Great images, that tell their own dramatic story. It would almost be possible to reconstruct the written text, a written text that wrote itself, from the powerful clues provided. The b&w images have so much energy – as b&w often does.

    1. I try to keep text to a minimum and follow the model of commentary in galleries like the TATE which give some information and encourage the viewer to respond in her/his own way. I’m glad that this happened with this set of images and that the story got through. Ideally, I suppose I would like to give no commentary at all but I’m not brave enough to go clueless!

  4. Hi Sylvia, congratulations on your latest exhibition, seen here. I really love the images of older women being creative and full of expression during the rehearsal process. Once again your eyes have captured energy which makes your still images become full of movement. Big love, Naomi xx

    1. As a professional actress Naomi, you recognize the passion, commitment and pure enjoyment that the cast experienced. You will also recognize that the process of making a piece of theatre with people for whom it is not the ‘day job’ requires different skills on the part of the writer/director. It was a joyful experience working with this group and I’m glad that you think this shows in the photos. Thank you so much!

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