The Pretending People Theatre Company was formed some five years ago, by Kent based professional actor/musicians, Matt and Becca Salisbury, a husband and wife team who have performed in productions far and wide and large and small.
One of their stints in small scale theatre involved some performances in community centres, day care and nursing homes to an elderly audience who were sometimes immobile and mentally infirm. Matt and Becca found the performances left them feeling that something more professional and stimulating was needed, which led them to create ‘Memory Lane,’ an engaging show specifically tailored for an elderly audience.
I had the great pleasure at the age of 63 to watch one such performance, sitting alongside my son and his wife and an audience whose upper age was in the late 90s. Spanning three glorious decades, from the cheeky and traditional ditties of the 1940s and 50s, to the vibrant beat of the swinging 60s, the show’s immersive storytelling and live music had the audience captivated.
‘Memory Lane’s’ story charmingly relates to times gone by using evocative narrative and easily recognisable singalong songs. With amusing character acting, ably performed by these two young actor/musicians, using props, costumes and instruments that intriguingly appear from three battered suitcases, the show awoke delightful nostalgia, as we sang, clapped and tapped our feet.
You could tell by the thunderous applause and the rousing encore chorus of ‘Que Sera, Sera’ that the whole audience was engaged in the reliving of days gone by, in a world Matt and Becca Salisbury had created before us.
The production has received unanimously positive feedback, from the audience, the elderly, the care givers and representatives of the Alzheimer’s Society. The sheer brilliance, however, is that the show can, by request, be performed in any venue, from your Granny’s birthday in her care home, to your parents’ Golden Wedding anniversary in a village hall, or for a family gathering in your own lounge or garden, such is its adaptability.
If you would like to view a short trailer of ‘Memory Lane’, or to enquire about booking the show, visit the Pretending People Theatre Company’s website.