The Light of Day

Whitstable participants living with dementia work with leading creatives on a collaborative film.

The Light of Day is the outcome of a six week long ‘Whitstable Story Making Project’ by Bright Shadow participants and a team of professional artists/ practitioners working across different fields:

Actor Claire Cox (Jamestown, Sky 1),

Actor Tanya Franks (Eastenders, Broadchurch),

Musician Natasha Rose Douglas (Singer-songwriter),

Writer Timothy Knapman (Superhero Dad/Gran)

Artist James Barriscale (Filmmaker).

Through the artists’ creative guidance and working remotely, participants collaborated on the plot, built the set piece by piece, created characters featuring a number of playful cameos from within the group, wrote a script, recorded voiceovers and a soundtrack.

In this surreal and sentimental tale of love, loneliness, and laughter, Tracey is the subject of a weird and wonderful journey following a strange encounter. In a whirlwind of events she slips through the forest, aboard a plague stricken vessel until she is saved by the wisdom and direction of a feline friend. This charming and humorous story of trickery, transition and emotion seems to playfully embody a juncture in life and hint at some experiences of getting older and living with or being affected by dementia in this slippery and strange moment in time.

What is Bright Shadow?

Bright Shadow is a multi-award winning charity supporting people living with dementia and those affected by it to thrive through creative opportunities which are stimulating, supportive and ambitious.

Bright Shadow CEO Clare Thomas said “We are a community of professional artists working together with people living with dementia and their loved ones to live well in the here and now and to give voice to dementia culture. During the Covid-19 crisis we have delivered a consistent programme, providing stimulation, reducing isolation and maintaining the creative space and connections that enrich all our lives. The Light of Day is the result of an authentic and accessible process, showcasing the talents of all involved, professionals and participants working and learning together. The engagement and enjoyment that our participants have experienced is evidence of how a creative community can support people through the most challenging of times, and is a charming and quirky take on living with dementia during lockdown.”

Reflections

‘It was a great thing to do during lockdown. It kept us all connected when we were not able to meet. I looked forward to doing this each week. I was happy to be part of making the story and what we have achieved. I am so pleased with the film.’

– Christine Wilmott Brown (participant)

‘Didn’t we do well! It made me and Alan and our grandson laugh. I would like to thank you and your team, including Claire and James for the opportunity to make this story happen, and Fred for leading on making the theatre. It was fun to make and Christine, Frank and Betty have done so well with their parts.’

– Juanita Rogers (participant)

 ‘A magical collaboration! I had the most exciting, fun and creatively collaborative journey making. Sessions were so much fun and imaginative with each participant giving a new part of the story as we went along.’

– Claire Cox (Project Artist – Actor)

 ‘Its been a pleasure working with such passionate, encouraging, open and skilled people who are all committed to helping the voice of people with dementia be heard.’

– Natasha Rose Douglas (Project Artist – Musician)

‘We had a great time recording members of the Zest Group on their doorsteps during a really challenging time. It speaks to me about how, no matter where we are or who we can or can’t see, the oldest story in the world is what will remain when the dust clears, that love and laughter will win out. It always does, and that’s what Zest is all about.’

– James Barriscale (Project Artist – Filmmaker)

‘I feel honoured to be part of the film The Light of Day. My step-father has Alzheimers and it was fun for him, my Mum and me to create the noises for the Ogre family and grunts for the crowd, giving us a lot of laughs together. Bright Shadow are a vital and creative organisation for people living with dementia and this film fully reflects the enjoyment, encouragement, and pleasure they bring.’

– Tanya Franks (Project Artist – Actor)

‘These are strange times indeed, but now and then there are blessings in the strangeness, and The Light of Day was one of them. The invitation to be part of it dropped into my life out of a clear blue lockdown sky. My dear friend Claire Cox asked me to write a few lyrics from which Natasha Rose Douglas created a beautiful song. It’s such a charming tale, both homely and surreal at once, ending up with everyone living in peace and love and laughter. I was so thrilled and grateful to be part of it.’

– Timothy Knapman (Project Artist – Writer)

Funders

This work is funded by People Health Trust/ The Health Lottery London East, with support from Canterbury City Council, Colyer Fergusson Charitable Trust, Kent County Council, National Lottery Community Fund and Roger de Haan Charitable Trust.

Bright Shadow has received Covid-19 emergency funding from Charity Aid Foundation, Arts Council England and Kent Community Foundation/National Emergency Trust.