Growing pains in an older people's home

Bristol theatre company the Kelvin Players take a look at life in an older people’s home in their latest production.

A Month of Sundays follows two elderly male residents living out their days in a retirement home awaiting family visits, and dealing with their failing bodies and minds.

Written by Bob Larbey, the writer behind such TV hits as The Good Life, As Time Goes By and The Darling Buds of May, the play is a poignant look at the personal process of ageing.

Director Susan Lawrence said: “The play offers so many layers of humanity to explore. Ageing affects us all, and the role relationships play in supporting a changing identity and lifestyle are central. Through relationships between the characters this play tenderly looks at sexuality, mental health, love and friendship.”

Set in an older people’s home, and based in Cooper’s room, this play covers two consecutive Sundays – visiting day for Cooper’s daughter and her husband. Cooper narrates in the form of self-musings, between interactions with the other characters as they visit him.

The play centres on the tender relationship between the central character, Cooper and his young nurse, Wilson, and contrasted with the feistier, yet developing relationship with his domestic help, Mrs. Baker.

Cooper’s strained, obligatory relationship with his own daughter, Julia and her husband Peter highlights the expectation and pressure constraining this family dynamic.

The heroic friendship between Cooper and his best friend Aylott (another resident) demonstrates the sincerity and humour contained in all relationships between best friends. Cooper and Aylott avoid joining ‘the zombies’ in the residential home, by forming an ‘escape committee’. They spend endless hours together, bantering about their ageing minds and bodies and trying to remember the 11th name of Middlesex 1947 cricket team.

“The play is a joy to experience and leaves us with an honesty about the strength and value of friendship, transcending all else. I welcome the opportunity to bring these universal themes to life through such a warm and enchanting play.” Susan added.

Although originally written in the 1980s, many of the themes and issues remain the same, with dementia being more widely recognised today.

A Month of Sundays runs from Tuesday 3 December to Saturday 7 December at the Kelvin Studio, 253b Gloucester Road, Bristol BS7 8NY.

Doors open from 7.00pm every evening where there is a licenced bar, with the performances starting at 7.30pm. Tickets are £12 Wednesday through to Saturday, and £8 on Tuesday.

To book tickets please call 0117 9593636, email boxoffice@kelvinplayers.co.uk or visit www.kelvinplayers.co.uk.

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