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'What about me?’ Scientists inform new play exploring dementia

Arts and science come together as writers working with researchers and patients better understand the experience of living with dementia resulting in a new play.

For the last six months, the Changing Age team at Newcastle University has been working with New Writing North to better understand the science and the experience of dementia.

Three writers, each with experience of dementia – Fiona Evans, Romi Jones, and Rebecca Jenkins –  worked alongside people diagnosed with dementia and their carers, providing creative opportunities for them to share their own thoughts and feelings honestly and with dignity.

This has informed the play 'Geordie Sinatra' by Fiona Evans, inspired a series of flash-fiction postcards by Romi Jones with images by photographer Keith Pattison, and an animation short written by Rebecca Jenkins.

Before a performance of the play, there is also a unique opportunity to meet the writers and Changing Age scientists, providing an insight into the work and lives of people active in leading edge biomedical and clinical research as well as the world of business and ageing.

What About Me?
A conversation between arts & science about dementia
Live Theatre, Newcastle: Wednesday 25 April, 5pm

Before the night’s performance of Geordie Sinatra, join playwright Fiona Evans, along with fellow writers Rebecca Jenkins, Romi Jones, and guest writer Valerie Laws. They will be discussing their exploration into the social, ethical and medical issues of dementia with Newcastle University's Changing Age scientists and clinicians Professor Jim Edwardson, founding director of the Institute for Ageing and Health, neuroscientist Professor Elaine Perry and senior lecturer in old age psychiatry Professor Elizabeta Mukaetova-Ladinska.

Admission free but booking required.
For more information and for booking information see the Live Theatre website or call 0191 232 1232

Followed by:

Geordie Sinatra by Fiona Evans
Live Theatre, Newcastle: Wednesday 18 April to Saturday 12 May

A new play presented by Live Theatre & Stephen Joseph Theatre in association with New Writing North.

That’s life, that’s what all the people say; you’re riding high in April, shot down in May… Welcome to the coolest party in town. Kick back, snap a Dunhill, help yourself to the liquor cart and let Frank ‘The Voice’ Sinatra serenade you till the wee small hours.

That’s what’s going on in ex-club singer Geordie’s head anyway. His dementia-induced hallucinations are causing his daughter Nancy major headaches that make her wonder what would Ava Gardner do?
Geordie Sinatra is a dark comedy that gets under the skin of dementia.

Tickets: £10-£18. Tickets must be booked on 0191 232 1232 or online at

This work is a unique collaboration of the arts, science and local communities and is supported by Newcastle Science City and ERDF.

published on: 5 April 2012