Theatre trip sparks magical memories

A Shakespeare enthusiast who thought she would never visit the theatre again sees her wish fulfilled.

We pride ourselves on treating all our residents as individuals and our wonderful lifestyle team is always coming up with ideas to enable them to keep making their dreams come true.

When we learned that Shakespeare fanatic Judith (aged 82) thought she would never visit the theatre again, we sprung into action arranging for her to visit The Maddermarket Theatre to see ‘The Book of Will’ – a play about the publication of Shakespeare’s work after his death in 1616.

Judith had been a regular at the Norwich community theatre where she saw a number of productions with her husband.

“Going back to the Maddermarket was a magical experience, just the feel of the place and walking through the doors,” she said.

“I studied Shakespeare at school and that’s where my love of his work began. I have enjoyed it ever since and it’s become a real passion of mine. We used to put on productions of his plays at school but I couldn’t pick a favourite because they’re all so wonderful.

“I never thought I’d get the opportunity to go back and see live theatre and there’s nothing like it. It brought back so many memories of the times I have been there before and I’m so grateful to the team at Brooklands for organising the trip.”

Judith was joined by fellow residents Margaret Hill, who used to take part in amateur dramatics, and Lillian Smith, who was rekindling an old tradition of seeing pantomimes at The Theatre Royal in Norwich.

The production shows how the legendary playwright’s friends Henry Condell and John Hemmings devised a plan to publish his work after his death to avoid them fading into obscurity.

The ladies also saw a familiar face on the stage as Brooklands’ lifestyle coordinator Jamie Willimott played Henry Condell in the play and helped organise the trip.

Jamie said: “It was a pleasure to make the ladies’ dream to go back to the theatre come true and I couldn’t be happier that they enjoyed the show. I wanted to make sure I put on my best performance for our special guests because I know they’ll be my biggest critics if I don’t do Shakespeare justice!”

Care home manager Karen Willimott added: “We’re always looking for ways for our residents to engage with their interests and our ladies have been beaming since they came back. All of them talk regularly about the theatre and the plays they’ve seen in the past and reminiscing about all the great memories they have is really important to their sense of wellbeing. Something we are very big on here at Brooklands is that by understanding someone’s life history, the team are able to ensure they can continue to enjoy their hobbies and interests.

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