Cockamamy at the Hope Theatre
Writer Louise Coulthard, who also plays Rosie in Cockamamy, addresses the complexities of dementia for the afflicted and their family members in this romantic play. Delightfully humorous and light-hearted for such a heavily weighted subject matter, the drama is the perfect educational tool for those wishing to understand the realities of an illness that affects as much as one in every six elderly people in the UK.
Mary Rutherford’s portrayal of the struggles of dementia is extremely sympathetic and leaves the audience with a vast range of emotions as tears are shed for Alice, who desperately clings on to a withering reality. However, the tension is quickly cut with the character’s good sense of wit that causes an echo of laughter across the small theatre.
Rosie’s sense of obligation towards her grandmother Alice and her emotional turmoil as a result of feelings of guilt for not having done enough – or indeed the right thing – in order to support her are dramatised in a fearlessly honest moment in which the young artist attacks her demented grandmother, forcibly stripping her clothes. These power dynamics are here questioned as the young woman is simultaneously the carer and the one in need of care due to the demands of the illness.
The carefully constructed setting for the play makes this staging an interactive experience in which the audience members are bought into the small space that is the home of the two women, both of whom are faced with the conflicting sentiments of love and loyalty to the other, and guilt and anger due to an exacting and consuming condition.
This play is a celebration of the directing skills of Rebecca Loudon and the lighting and sound design of Chris May and Jacob Welsh, respectively, with a crudely reliable and heart-warming portrayal of the bonds and struggles between characters by Coulthard, Rutherford and Rowan Polanski as Cavan, Rosie’s lover.
Photo: Alex Brenner
Cockamamy is at the Hope Theatre from 12th June until 30th June 2018. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.