When: 13th November – 1st December 2012
Where: The London Theatre, 443 New Cross Road, London SE14 6TA
£: 12, concessions 10 (suitable for ages 12+)
What is it?
“What is an individual but a collection of memories on legs? Take away the memories and what’s left? Legs. And even they aren’t working well any more.”
Homework is an intimate two-hander which centres on an elderly woman veering between the borders of dementia and lucidity. Agitated by a shrinking frame of reference and a myriad of tangled memories, her life revolves around phone calls to her middle-aged son, Vincent. Comprising thirty scenes and thirty phone calls, mother and son live out their cyclical relationship one call at a time.
With a set split between Vincent’s writing studio and his mother’s bedsit, the play is similarly torn between the humorous and harsh truths in their relationship. Whilst Vincent attempts to care for his aged mother, she still chides her 48 year old son like a child, as her past becomes assimilated into one continuous event. In an age of ever-increasing dementia levels amongst the elderly, and rising national focus on the lack of proper institutional care, Homework illustrates these issues from a refreshingly delicate and human perspective.
Dementia describes different disorders that trigger a loss of the functions of the brain. These conditions are all usually progressive and eventually severe. There are currently 800,000 dementia sufferers in the UK, with numbers set to rise to over 1 million by 2021. One in three people over 65 will die with Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia. There is no known cure for the disease, yet the government invests eight times less in dementia research than cancer research.