The elderly population are living longer and many reside in care homes for many different reasons. A month of Sundays is a charming production from the Queens Theatre in Hornchurch. The production is a heart warming story about Cooper, (William Hoyland) and his day to day life in the care home. The production was light and funny at times while raising deep feelings and concerns of health and the on going process of the ageing body and mind.
The set filled me with warmth and nostalgia from visiting my grandparents home many years ago, with the dated furniture in the cozy room. Cooper dressed as my grandfather did in his slippers and pyjamas but changing for that special occasion. There was no doubt about the scene it was very typical of an elderly resident.
The story told through Cooper as he filled his lonely days with saucy chats to the house maid and deeper conversations with his friend Aylott. The conversations usually consisted of them reassuring each other that there ailments were nothing but a passing thing “Musn’t grumble” was often said by either one of them. The depth of there friendship was as deep as the ocean, the comfort they provided each other was immense.
The story went on to open our minds to dimentia which is very common in todays society with people living longer. The pain of loosing a loved one to this condition could be felt. Cooper often made fun of the ‘Zombies’, his way of dealing with the losses.
Another theme explored was that of the visits he received by his daughter and her husband and the awkwardness of younger family members not wishing to attend while those that did barely had time to get there coats off before an excuse to leave was made. This put more upset on the resident eventually causing the situation to come to a head to resolve.
Anna Leong Bropy, nurse Wilson was incredible. The sincerity and dedication to her vocation was second to none. She was more than Coopers nurse she became his friend. They could talk in a way I think he longed for with his daughter. He could trust her.
Cooper and Aylott, (Robin Hooper) demonstrated the frustrations of there machines struggling with old age and the motivation as fresh as the day, yet held back by balance, mobilty problems and those associated with ageing. Aylott was experiencing memory loss and confusion, sadly another problem for many people. Both of the gentleman despite their problems brought much charm into the production.
On an emotional note it was sad to see the deterioration of the men and know they are powerless as age shows no mercy.
Russell Bolam directed the show that was written by playwright Bob Larby.
The show is running until the 15th of October and in my opinion is worth a watch. It is an eye opener as to how age affects our older relations and begs us to consider how we can protect our elderly friends and family just by taking the time to communicate. A socially inspiring and relevant play delivered by a great cast.