Dementia The Musical (or the Ballad of the Dementia Activists)
I am excited to start the new year knowing that funding is in place from Creative Scotland to tour this amazing project in Autumn 2024. Honoured to be in the role of composer/lyricist and musical director working alongside writer Ron Coleman, director Magdalena Schamberger, producer Gemma Kicks, filmmaker Kelman Greig-Kicks and many others on this production.
Dementia the Musical
(or The Ballad of the Dementia Activists)
“Agnes, James and Nancy are on trial for the crime of having dementia and not doing what they’re told. Can they beat the Rigid System and reclaim their lives and dignity?”
Dementia the Musical is based on the campaigning work of three of Scotland’s longest serving dementia activists James McKillop, Nancy McAdam & Agnes Houston and the fight they have led to ensure people with dementia have a voice in what happens in their lives.
The Musical is set in the not-too-distant future where the ‘British Bill of Rights’ has replaced the ‘European Convention on Human Rights’ and is being used by organisations and carehome owners to deny residents their rights to a family life by allowing the system to control what individuals with dementia can do, where they live, who can visit and when they can visit. The backdrop to the musical sees the three activists being brought to a care home in Dundee to face a tribunal that is accusing them of both not having capacity and of being troublemakers.
A work in progress showing was presented at An Lanntair, Isle of Lewis in March 2022 with the full production being developed in Spring 2024 followed by a Scottish tour in Autumn 2024.
This a funny, moving and important production. It tells the history of dementia activism and highlights the struggle to preserve human rights for people with dementia. Voices of real people with dementia shape its story.