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Review: Each Piece at Newcastle Live Theatre

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“You know, next time we meet?  I won’t know you… I won’t even remember saying this.”

Each Piece
Newcastle Live Theatre
Until Saturday 28th January 2017

Whilst dementia affects at least 850 000 people, there is little recognition of the challenges that it poses in the media or on stage. Each Piece represents a partnership, between Northumbria Universityand Live Theatre, to capture the affects of the condition on both the sufferers and their carers.

The show features the talents of Chris Connel, Laura Norton, Jessica Johnson, PeterPeverley and Helen Embleton. Whilst they only started rehearsals on Monday, they have done a wonderful job of reflecting the situation faced by the loss of someone’s mental faculties. It isn’t all sadness however as Jessica and Petersensitively created a number of humorous moments in their interpretation of the verbatim play. In the post show talk we were introduced to some of the actual people and then you realise how well they have been represented.

It is interesting how there is a focus, by the mind of the sufferer, on the past. For example, watching Talking Pictures tv channel in order to see the old movies again. However not all memories are positive.

There were plenty of powerful moments. Helen, for example, perfectly recalled the lack of apparent support as the issues began to unfold. There was also chemistry between the people Chris and Laura represented as Laura described the man at the start of the relationship. This was in stark contrast to Chris as the dementia sufferer.  The final scene was a poignant moment as a tape plays of a car journey from the past. Chris and Laura work well with 2 young rising stars from the Live Theatre youth set up. Robert Oliver and Niamh Small make fun of the Beatles mad parent who is determined to show off the finer details of his musical trivia.

Writer and director Steve Gilroy has created an impressive show that should continue beyond this weekend. It is clear that it should tour and raise the profile of the issues featured. As much as possible, such a tour should retain the fabulous cast who helped capture the spirit of the real people so well.

This is powerful theatre.  It isn’t just a tear jerker, though it is hard not to be affected. The human condition is much more interesting than a single emotion. Well worth a trip to the theatre.  

Review by Stephen Oliver.

This will be a script in hand performance.
Each Piece will take place in Live Theatre’s main theatre on Friday 27 and Saturday 28 January at 8p. Tickets are £8 and £6 concessions.  For more information about Live Theatre visit and to find out more about studying Performing Arts at Northumbria Universitygo to:
Friday 27 & Saturday 28 January
Post Show Talks
Each Piecewriter and director Steve Gilroy hosts a discussion after each performance with people involved in the making of the play. Followed by a Question and Answer session.
FREE, booking essential
Suitable for Artsmark visits.

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