In Other Words online
Making memories is a part of life. They’re fundamentally what make us human. And for many couples like Jane (Lianne Harvey) and Arthur (Matthew Seager), it is their memories that cement their love for one another. So when the latter’s cognitive abilities start to decline, his wife is plagued by her worst fears – fears which soon turn into a crippling reality. Her doting husband has Alzheimer’s disease and the uphill battle of caring for an ailing loved one swiftly begins.
Following a critically-acclaimed theatrical run, Matthew Seager’s heartbreakingly beautiful play In Other Words will now be available to stream online for a short time. It’s a powerful story about two individuals whose love is capable of standing the test of time, despite all the obstacles that are thrown their way. Arthur, who is played to perfection by the talented Seager himself, is a Frank Sinatra enthusiast. Music plays a prominent role in the central relationship and it is Sinatra’s songs that are brought to light each time the protagonist’s condition deteriorates. Dementia patients are encouraged to use music when trying to reconnect with loved ones and director Paul Brotherston ensures that this fact does not go unnoticed. When her husband’s memory takes a dip, Jane plays him a segment of Sinatra’s music to improve it.
The narrative takes the audience on a 50-year long journey, from the moment the couple first meet on a night out to Arthur’s final days as he’s slouching in his iconic armchair, the disease now eating him up from the inside and robbing him of his identity. Harvey delivers a stellar performance as Jane, especially in the latter half of the play when the boundaries between wife and carer are blurred, causing her character to step up and accept that her husband is not coming back, not in the way that she had wanted him to.
Each year, hundreds of thousands of people in the UK and around the world are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Each of those people’s families has to witness their loved ones being tragically and cruelly taken away. If there are any stories able to capture what it is like to live with and care for a dementia patient, In Other Words is right up there at the top.
Photos: Alex Fine
In Other Words is streaming online from 27th September until 10th October 2021. For further information or to book visit here.