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Wolverhampton school girl completes play about life with Dementia - your Midlands and Shropshire am dram guide

By Alison Norton | Theatre & Comedy | Published:

As regular readers of this page will know, I am a great believer that theatre is for everyone, despite any disabilities and so I was delighted to hear about a very special play reading that is taking place on January 15.

Fiona Winning

Wolverhampton Girls’ High School pupil, 17 year old Fiona Winning, is holding a reading of a play she wrote herself entitled ‘Where Have You Gone?’ at 7.30pm on January 15 at Windmill Community Church in Finchfield.

Fiona wrote the play as part of a project for the National Theatre in London and was thrilled when it was shortlisted to the last 15 out of 350 entries from around the country.

It follows a day in the life of a family coping with Dementia and Fiona is using the play as an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), which is a piece of independent research that is recognised by universities as an additional A-Level.

Although Fiona herself is a very talented performer, I must stress that this reading is not a performance as such, but actually a private reading with the aim of raising awareness of the disease and obtaining feedback on her piece. Neither is it a ‘dementia friendly’ performance and it worth noting that the play content deals with sensitive issues and as a result, contains a small amount of strong language.

Fiona told me: “As part of the research process, with the help of some very talented local actors, I have organised this play reading for a small audience.”

She continued: “I will also be writing a report on how effectively a piece of drama can raise awareness of the difficulties faced by families coping with Dementia. It is this particular area in which I am most interested in obtaining feedback, be it positive or negative.”

Fiona said: “The audience will hopefully include people of differing age ranges and backgrounds, who may or may not have had personal experience with Dementia.”

She concluded: “I have had several offers to study Academic Drama and Theatre Studies for universities who are taking this EPQ in account.”

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What a superb way of bringing attention to the horrors of this all too common disease that affects so many people and their families in this day and age, but also at the same time educating herself and others. Well done Fiona. I can’t wait to attend.

After a week of constant eating, drinking and making merry, I know everyone will be looking forward to the New Year and a fresh start.

So, Happy New Year to everyone out there in Am Dram land and I look forward to receiving all your news for 2020 very soon.

Email me a.norton@expressandstar.co.uk, call me on 01902 319662 or follow me on Twitter @AlisonNorton or on Facebook.

Break a leg!

Alison Norton

By Alison Norton
@AlisonNorton

Theatre critic and unofficial 'am dram queen' for the Express & Star and Shropshire Star

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