We are proud to have been able to donate over £1,600 in profits from Still Alice to Alzheimer's Society.

Still Alice. May 2022
Still Alice. May 2022

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Still Alice May 2022
Still Alice May 2022

Pictured: Harriet Webb & Linsey O'Neill

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Still Alice. May 2022
Still Alice. May 2022

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Still Alice. May 2022
Still Alice. May 2022

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Synopsis

 

Alice Howland is proud of the life she worked so hard to build. At fifty, she's a cognitive psychology professor at Oxford University, and a renowned expert in linguistics, with a successful husband and two adult children. When she begins to grow forgetful and disoriented, she dismisses it for as long as she can until a tragic diagnosis changes her life - and her relationship with her family and the world around her - for ever.

Unable to care for herself, Alice struggles to find meaning and purpose as her concept of self gradually slips away. But Alice is a remarkable woman, and her family learn more about her and each other in their quest to hold on to the Alice they know. Her memory hanging by a frayed thread, she is living in the moment, living for each day. But she is still Alice.

Extracts from our Scene One Review:

This consummate production portrays a difficult subject with humour, sensitivity and emotion. Often, when describing a play, we talk of the flow and the development of the characters and the plot. In this production, this is made difficult with its disjointed structure, its plethora of scene changes and musical interludes. However, this was deliberate, an expression of how it must feel to have yourself slowly diminishing.

 

The relationship between Alice and Herself is cleverly written and instinctively executed by Linsey O’Neill and Kim Burdon Thompson respectively. Simon Langford as John Howland convincingly displays the love and frustration of a devoted husband who is losing his partner in life, piece by piece. Harry Webb (Lydia) gave an effective performance as the thespian daughter who grows closer to her mother as the play progresses while Matthew Barrett (Thomas), whose part in the script was somewhat underdeveloped, gave a good insight into how difficult and unbelievable he found his mother’s situation.

Veronica Ryder, Steve Moore and Becki Lavender helped to perfectly convey some of the difficult conversations that need to take place when dealing with this wasting disease as medical professionals and friends.

Before watching this production, I knew very little about Alzheimer’s disease, but I now understand much more.  I imagine this play was very difficult to direct and perform but the Castle Players achieved a sensitive and thought-provoking performance.

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... and here's what the audience had to say:

Paula S:

The first night of the play was absolutely brilliant, an excellent, entertaining, sensitive, and humorous way of bringing this issue to people's attention. Once again Well Done Castle Players 👏

Jo W:

Thought it was one of the best I’ve seen you do.  Superb emotional acting, great scene changes and apt accompanying music - very emotive and thought provoking. Well done to all cast and crew.

Jo P: 

Wow! What a great and enjoyable evening I had at our Village Hall last night seeing the play 'Still Alice'.  I had wondered if I'd enjoy a drama dealing with Alzheimer's, but this production is so brilliant in giving an understanding of how early onset dementia affects both Alice and her family, I shouldn't have had any doubts.  Every aspect was so enjoyable - lighting, sounds, props, set, fantastic music choices, choreographed set changes - all so well thought out.  Then there's the acting! Every cast member interpreted their role with care and sympathy as we watched 'Alice' fighting as she slowly succumbed to this awfully debilitating disease. I especially liked that the playwright introduced Alice's mind as a separate character in constant attendance on stage, as we observed interesting comments between them.  The evening was not only enjoyably entertaining, but it gave us an understanding of how this disease develops and affects both the sufferer and their family.  It's rare that I see a production this brilliant - massive credit to the whole company, but especially to director Deanna Langford - it's magnificent. 

Janet N:

We attended last night's performance and were amazed at the production of still Alice. Awesome, acting, lighting, scene shifting, music and reception all executed to perfection. How lucky we are to have London west end quality drama in our village! Thank you 🤩

 

Ann W:

Wow! Just wow! What a wonderful play and wonderfully acted by all. A very emotional experience which reduced me to tears on occasions and, looking around, many other members of the audience too!  Thank you!

Debbie B:

Just wanted to say congratulations on an incredible production.  It is a very difficult subject to broach as to understand the feelings within the family and frustration the patient is experiencing is very challenging.  Well done for tackling such a difficult and sometimes misunderstood topic.  

Heidee E:

It was fabulous, huge “well done” to everyone! 👏👏👏

Duncan T:

What a beautiful piece of theatre. Talking about a subject that touches all of us.. Still Alice is on until Saturday at Lytchett Matravers village hall. Please please go and see it.

Julie S:

We really enjoyed the play, it was beautifully done and fantastic performances from everyone... Brilliant x

Jackie G:

Went to the opening night, thank you for putting the spotlight on this debilitating disease and for raising much needed funds for the Alzheimer’s Society. Very well done to all involved!

Alexandra T:

The play was brilliant and deserves a run in London or the Edinburgh Festival. It was beautifully accompanied and enhanced by the music.  Amazing. ♡♡♡

Les C:

Well!  Having seen a lot of your productions over the years, I have to say in my humble opinion, that "Still Alice," was the best.  It may not have been the most enjoyable because of the subject matter, but boy did you do a remarkable job!

I saw a stage production of "Far from the madding crowd" years ago and I think it had 22 scene changes and it killed the production stone-dead.  I can't recall how many scene changes your production had, but they were dealt with so expediently, slickly and smoothly, coupled with such a cracking selection of music that they didn't hinder the production at all.  I understand from talking to Steve that Deanna chose the music as well, another bonus, the choice was perfect and the sound spot-on.  And I particularly liked the Still Alice board which charted the times for us, that was a clever stroke as well.

There wasn't a weak link in the whole production, and the sad subject matter was dealt with just the right amount of pathos and humour and we all felt Alice's slow deterioration and the effect it had on all her family, was very sensitively handled.

My eldest brother, following two bouts of Covid, now has Alzheimer's triggered by Covid and his decline has been rapid over the last 9 months, so the whole piece resonated with me in a lot of ways and I had a tear or two.  And then Alice's line about wishing she had cancer instead!  Hit me rather hard, as I've been battling that bloody disease for the last 22 months but I'm damned if I'm giving into it!

So, thank you one and all, for a truly cracking production.

 

Mary C:

What a wonderful evening.  Lots to think about but great admiration for the actors having learned so many lines.  Great as is usual for Castle Players.  We have missed you over the last few months.  Congratulations for the wonderful handling of a difficult subject.

 

Carolyn W:

Just a quick message to say how much we enjoyed your production of Still Alice last night.  Well written, great scene changes and brilliant acting.  Well done to all the cast and crew.  

Please put me on your mailing list for future productions.

Best wishes for the next three nights!

 

Caroline P:

Brilliant production, you all were so fantastic and very professional. I hope a huge list of superlatives is still ringing in your ears!  4G acting, production, tech team and photos. Great, great, great, great! 👌

Chrissy:

We were absolutely totally blown away by last night's performance. It was so beautifully acted, so polished and perfectly put across. We were mesmerised. My congratulations to everyone involved. Deanna for her direction, (I managed to chat with her briefly before curtain up), Linsey such a slick moving performance and all the cast. 🙏🙏🙏🌻🌻❤️ x x