Lancaster to host major two-day dementia festival

The Duke's theatre and arts venue in Lancaster is all set to host a unique 2 day dementia festival on 17th and 18th May 2018 to explore how the arts can touch the lives of people living with dementia in wonderful and remarkable ways.

Creative Adventures in Dementia : A Life More Ordinary Festival invites people living with dementia, family, friends, health and care professionals, artists, researchers and clinical commissioning teams, to share and discover some of the ground-breaking ways that the arts is helping us all understand dementia better.

Exploring how the arts can improve the wellbeing of people with dementia, the aim is to showcase some of the dementia projects the Dukes has already undertaken, and how lives have already been changed for the better.

The festival  will include an array of performances and workshops involving artists, practitioners, researchers and others who work closely with people with dementia in a variety of ways. The performance part of the festival will also see Still Me, the theatre’s homegrown multi-arts group for people with early-stage dementia, completely transform The Dukes Centre for Creative Learning into a village fete.

Actor, John Middleton, will speak at the festival

Several keynote speakers will also make an appearance to offer different insights and expertise.

Confirmed to be among those is actor John Middleton – who is best known for his portrayal of Ashley Thomas, a vicar with dementia, in Emmerdale– who will talk about what is was like to take on such a role and what he learnt along the way; Wendy Mitchell, author of  the Sunday Times bestseller Somebody I Used To Know – a memoir of somebody living with dementia, and journalist and author Nicci Gerrard – co-founder of John’s Campaign fighting for the rights of family members to support people with dementia in hospitals.

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There will also be photography exhibition running at the theatre’s gallery from 26 March – 19 May. This will reflect on some of the work The Dukes’ A Life More Ordinary project has done locally and nationwide over the last three years.

Gil Graystone

Inclusive Film and Theatre Officer and festival organiser at The Dukes 

“Staging a national event like this is an exciting development for The Dukes.  Please join us to explore, share and discover how the arts are revealing new ways of entering the world of people living with dementia and helping them to continue enjoying richer fuller lives.”


Creative Adventures in Dementia is open to people living with dementia, their family, friends, health and social care professionals, researchers, artists and clinical commissioning teams. It will also provide a wealth of opportunity for all to discover some of the groundbreaking ways arts can assist in our understanding of dementia and the people it may affect."

More information, a timetable of events, and tickets are available on The Dukes website or by phoning the box office on 01524 598501. 

Source: The Reviews Hub April 2018

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