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Suffolk: Eastern Angles production brings care home residents’ reminiscences back to life

16:14 23 June 2014

Orwell Housing chief executive Stephen Javes. left, joins actors Rebecca Dickson and Francis Woolf at rehearsals of a play base on the memories of residents at some of the company's care homes.

Orwell Housing chief executive Stephen Javes. left, joins actors Rebecca Dickson and Francis Woolf at rehearsals of a play base on the memories of residents at some of the company's care homes.

Orwell Housing is sponsoring a project which has seen the reminiscences of residents at five of its homes adapted for the stage.

Regional theatre group Eastern Angles has interviewed more than 50 residents at care homes and sheltered housing schemes in Ipswich, Woodbridge, Hadleigh, Ixworth and Reydon.

And their memories have now been turned into a 45-minute theatre piece, Once Upon a Lifetime, written and directed by Jon Tavener and featuring actors Rebecca Dickson and Francis Woolf.

“Two months of research, 24 hours of group reminiscence and 60 hours of interviews with over 50 elders have led to this performance,” said Jon.

“Now we will be touring to seven venues with a play that takes us from 1920 through the war, the peace, the 1950s and all the way to the present day.

“Our two actors play the central roles of Sid and Het as well as a multitude of other characters. It has been an honour and privilege to hear these peoples’ stories, and so very humbling. I hope we can do their lives justice on stage.”

Stephen Javes, chief executive at Orwell Housing, added: “Orwell is proud to be associated with Eastern Angles and a play which allows older people to reflect on their past and in doing so raise awareness of a rich past and dementia issues.”

For booking details, visit


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