Vida Healthcare is part of the ‘Culture Cure’

Puppetry at Manchester Museum of Science and Industry

Each month the museum holds an evening event that is in the style of TED talks and demonstrations. These adult only events are about raising awareness and introducing people to new areas of science. The first Arts and Science event was held on Tuesday 6th March. The call out was to Artists, practitioners or researchers who are working within or exploring the links between Arts and Health.

I was lucky to be offered a place to showcase the work that we are doing at Vida Healthcare with Puppetry. Rather than talking about this work, I opted to perform a 5-minute Theatre-for-one show. The trip to Manchester was an interesting one; but it turns out that Puppet theatres and public transport are compatible and thanks to the FREE City bus, I reached my destination with time enough to sit and have a cup of Lancashire tea!

The museum had sold over 1000 tickets and the venue was buzzing and there was a little crowd gathering outside my performance area. Theatre-for-one does require some bravery or curiosity from both parties really which proves an intense experience. People often have had little experience with Puppets and are surprised how it affects them. There were some very lovely encounters, often emotional when people recalled an experience of loving someone who was living with Dementia, now or in the past.

As usual people were surprised to hear about a Care Home using a medium like Puppetry to connect with people with cognitive impairments. However, once they ‘felt’ their own feelings in that space they could understand the natural link.

My shows ran from 7-10pm and I had a continual stream of interested people to my little booth. It’s good to be part of the curve in Dementia Care and to be part of a dynamic organisation that allows me to develop my own work while embedding this within the culture of Vida.