• Sun. May 26th, 2024

North East Connected

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ELDERLY Teesside residents enjoyed a stage performance from the comfort of their care home garden after a visit from a travelling theatre company.

Northeast Producers, which specialises in adapting productions for any location, brought their show to The Gables Care Home, on Highfield Road, Middlesbrough.

Residents were treated to a performance of “That’s Life”, featuring some of their favourite songs from the 50s, 60s, and 70s, including “Que Sera Sera”, “Smile”, “That’s Amore”, “Sway”, and “Puppet on a String”.

The story involved a chance encounter between a young couple as they run to the bus for work. The female protagonist breaks the heel of her shoe in the process, and her counterpart offers to fix it in exchange for a date, with musical numbers interspersed throughout.

Resident James Haslam, 83, said: “It was a wonderful show. I really liked it.”

Lisa Bannister, 49, added: “The music was great. We all enjoyed singing and clapping along. I felt so happy after the show had finished. The singers were very good.”

Alison Cochrane, activities coordinator at The Gables Care Home, said: “It was a fantastic show that everyone enjoyed so much.

“We made a little garden theatre and residents loved sitting in the sunshine while watching the performance.

“Before covid we would have gone to the theatre, but we can’t do that at the moment, so it was wonderful that Northeast Producers could bring the theatre to The Gables.

“Everyone loved the story line, the quick prop changes and, of course, singing songs that residents recognised from when they were younger.

“We can’t thank performers Sarah Oakland and Luke Lovejoy enough for a wonderful afternoon.”

Heather Matthews, artistic director for Northeast Producers, said: “I established Northeast Producers because I wanted to take quality theatrical experiences out to people who struggle to get to a theatre.

“The shows are written in such a way that residents don’t have to be completely focused for a whole hour. Every five minutes there is a stand-alone change in order to reengage the audience.

“We also include lots of familiar songs that residents remember from their younger days to enhance their enjoyment of the performance.

“Our actors loved giving the performance of “That’s Life” in The Gables gardens as the play itself takes place outside. It added a natural dimension to the show and the residents loved it.”