Background to the play
When Brian Daniels, the author the play attended the 50th birthday party of his friends Irene Heron and Rachael Dixey, in 1997, he remembers it as a joyful and exuberant event. Nobody then could have guessed that ten years later the vivacious and theatrical Irene would be developing early onset dementia and fifteen years later she would have lost her functioning powers, be in a care home and she would die aged 66 in 2013.
Her partner of 25 years, Professor Rachael Dixey wrote in her journal every day about the challenges of living with a partner who had dementia. She asked Brian to read the journal and he was then inspired by write a play about family life and early onset dementia.
Irene was cared for in a nursing home in Yorkshire. In the same nursing home was Chris Toulman. Chris and his wife Cindy had been married for over 40 years and were a devoted couple. Chris had never had a good memory but warning bells started to sound when he started getting into a muddle when doing the accounts of his garage business. He would sometimes do the MOT twice on a car, forgetting he had already done the work. Eventually he was diagnosed with dementia and in time went into full time care. His wife visited him every day, and all day, talking to him, feeding him and loving him. Chris died in his early 60s.
With the support of both families Brian embarked on writing these very personal stories. He wanted to explore through a play the way in which dementia impacts on the wider family and whether love ever becomes a duty.
The first ‘shared’ performances of the play were at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds and the play has gone onto have to date (November 2017) more than 150 performances throughout the UK and Northern Ireland. The play has also been filmed by Birmingham NHS Trust to help educate around the complexities of the Mental Capacity Act.
How To Book The Play
Don’t Leave me Now is available for performances at any location. There are 5 professional actors and the play is professionally directed by Jeni Draper. The play is booked through Pluto Productions which is a registered charity and not for profit. We seek to cover the costs of the actors, their travel and subsistence, a royalty and overnight accommodation if required.
The cost is variable depending on the location and it is possible to book two performances in a single day.
You can find out more about booking the play by contacting the writer directly: Brian Daniels – 07740 372333 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. It may also be booked through Hospice UK under their ‘drama events’ link as may some of Brian Daniels’ other plays about health and social issues.
We can give marketing and press support through Ahuva Cohen who is a highly experienced marketing and PR professional and her costs are included in the price. Pluto Productions is VAT exempt.
The cast is an ensemble group. All are professionally trained actors and depending on the location of the performance we source our actors from the closest location
Dr Bernie Byrnes
For booking a performance or for additional information please contact
Brian Daniels – 07740 372333 or e-mailing email@example.com.
It may also be booked through Hospice UK under their ‘drama events’ link as may some of Brian Daniels’ other plays about health and social issues.
“the play is subtly powerful, sympathetic and sharp, sad and funny and hearing it read engages me as seeing it performed might not have done. Where dementia is the villain, words are priceless”
Howard Jacobson – Booker Prize Winning author (The New Statesman – May 2016)