STORYTELLER, poet and BBC Radio 4 regular John Osborne returns to Pocklington Arts Centre on February 13 to present his beautiful, funny and uplifting new show about music and dementia.
Last March, he performed a double bill of John Peel’s Shed and Circled In The Radio Times in Pocklington. Now, inspired by seeing a friend’s father face a dementia diagnosis and the warmth, positivity and unexpected twists and turns the family went through, he has put together You’re In A Bad Way.
“This is the fifth theatre show I’ve made and it’s definitely my favourite,” says Osborne. “I loved performing it every day at the Edinburgh Fringe last summer, and I’m really excited to be taking it on tour.
“For the past few years, I’ve made storytelling theatre shows that are funny, true stories of things that I feel are important to people. This one is a story about what happened to my friend’s dad when he was diagnosed with dementia a couple of years ago.”
Osborne continues: “It was a really interesting thing to observe, because although it was horrific and terrifying and sad, there was so much warmth and positivity and unexpected twists and turns.
“As soon as I started writing the show, it came together so beautifully and audience members who have had their own personal experiences of caring for people with dementia have been incredibly positive about the show having been to see it.”
Osborne spent time at a dementia care centre in Edinburgh to ensure he was fully informed about the experience of caring for someone with dementia.
“I never planned to write about something as personal as dementia, and have never written about a big topic before, but this felt like such a beautiful story that I wanted to tell,” he explains. “Just because you’ve been diagnosed with something, it doesn’t mean it’s the end.
“The things we know about dementia are so sad, but within that there are some special moments. Every time I perform the show, I feel like I learn new things about dementia.”
Describing the tone of You’re In A Bad Way, Osborne says: “As it’s such a big topic, I’ve tried to make the show funny and life affirming and relatable.
“I don’t want it to be sad or serious; I think it’s important for it to be a good story to someone who has no association with dementia, as well as being sensitive to those who live surrounded by the illness.”
Pocklington Arts Centre director Janet Farmer says: “I was fortunate to see this show at the Edinburgh Fringe last August and thought it was just so beautifully written and truly uplifting, I knew we had to bring it to Pocklington. It tackles a tough topic with such humour and warmth, it really is a must-see.”
Tickets cost £10 on 01759 301547 or at pocklingtonartscentre.co.uk or £12 on the door, with a special price of £9 for a carer of someone with dementia.