As her family struggle to come to terms with her Alzheimer's, Irenes past passion for romantic literature blurs with reality. She spends hours discussing how best to write her 'memory book' with her imaginary friend and favourite author Barbara Cartland (the deceased world famous romantic novelist), disclosing long kept family secrets that she would never divulge to her daughters.
This tragi-comedy is about memory, loss, secrets and, above all, love.
Here is an informal interview with the writer Gail Young during rehearsals for 'Bothered and Bewildered'.
'Combining laughter and tears, all utterly genuine, Edinburgh People’s Theatre’s production of Bothered and Bewildered at the Church Hill is thoroughly successful.......Gail Young’s first full-length play, Cheshire Cats, has already been produced with great distinction in Edinburgh, but this is the Scottish premiere of her second, dating from 2014.
Taking on such a new and little-known work could be seen as a brave step for EPT, but it is one that deserves to succeed wholeheartedly. The subject matter may put some off, and there can be no denying that it is difficult to watch at times, particularly for the huge and growing numbers of people who have personal experience of the issue.
However, there can be no doubt that it is a judicious and rewarding piece of work – serious without ever becoming melodramatic and humorous without being flippant.
The storyline also encompasses other mother-daughter relationships, secrets, storytelling, love and other vast swathes of human experience, but in a wholly manageable form. There are no easy answers, and it is all powered by a steely, human resilience that makes what can only be personal experience accessible to all. Anyone who has been in this situation will recognise much of it, but this comes from the piece’s universality rather than any glib observation.......Overall this is a triumphant effort.....'
Fantastic theatre play written by the talented Gail Young ... a true insight into the reality of dementia ... written to stimulate the imagination ... you will laugh and cry at the dilemmas faced by the family ... very well written ... clever, witty, sensitive, touching and funny ......
Last night's performance of Bothered and Bewildered was a real credit to you Gail Young. All I can say is that Art. regardless of which form it takes, is a true miracle. To actually see something that has come from one persons mind be translated for the benefit of the masses is one heck of an achievement. You and the cast executed it beautifully. I honestly take my hat off to you. Well done Gail, thanks for entertaining us.
I thought the scene where the tapping on the window got louder and louder was electrifying. Well done. 5 stars ......
Saw this fab show tonight. Brilliant. Very moving with some great funny moments too. Well done to all involved.
You were all brilliant tonight ... loved the play ... tears of laughter and tears of sadness. Very moving. Thank you all.
I've had a great evening watching "Bothered & Bewildered" at the Gateway Theatre in Chester. It's a brilliantly written script about a families struggle with Alzheimer's. I'd definitely recommend it.
Holt Dramatic Society. Holt. Wiltshire. 10 - 12/11/2016
Witney Dramatic Society. Methodist Church. Witney. Oxfordshire. 28 - 30/10/2016
New Forest Players. Ballard Performing Arts Centre. New Milton. Hants. 13 - 16/7/2016
Edinburgh People's Theatre. Church Hill Theatre. Edinburgh. 25/5 - 28/5/2016
Coromandel Players. Coromandel. New Zealand. 28/4 - 7/5/2016
Centralian Players. Henderson Hall. Abbots Langley. Herts. October 2015
Burton Bradstock Players. Dorset. July 2015
KATS. Kesgrave. Wolsey Theatre. June 2015
Premier. Tip Top Productions. Forum Studio Theatre. Chester. October 2014 (published March 2015)
Barbara Cartland who sadly died in May 2000 at the age of nearly 99 was the world's most famous romantic novelist who wrote 723 books in her lifetime with worldwide sales of over 1 billion copies and her books were translated into 36 different languages.
As well as romantic novels, she wrote historical biographies, 6 autobiographies, theatrical plays, books of advice on life, love, vitamins and cookery. She also found time to be a political speaker and television and radio personality.
She wrote her first book at the age of 21 and this was called Jigsaw. It became an immediate bestseller and sold 100,000 copies in hardback and was translated into 6 different languages. She wrote continuously throughout her life, writing bestsellers for an astonishing 76 years. Her books have always been immensely popular in the United States, where in 1976 her current books were at numbers I & 2 in the B. Dalton bestsellers list, a feat never achieved before or since by any author.
Barbara Cartland became a legend in her own lifetime and will be best remembered for her wonderful romantic novels, so loved by her millions of readers throughout the world.
Her books will always be treasured for their moral message, her pure and innocent heroines, her good looking and dashing heroes and above all her belief that the power of love is more important than anything else in everyone's life.