Everybody is scared of something right, whether that be snakes, spiders or heights? Me personally I’m terrified of flying even though I love to go on holiday and sit on a beautiful beach enjoying the warmth of the sun. Well just imagine if you couldn’t remember what you are scared of, couldn’t remember who you even are? The fear of that can be all consuming in this poignant and powerful adaptation of Lisa Genova’s novel Still Alice at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.
Living a relatively normal life, Alice (Sharon Small) and her husband John (Dominic Mafham) are both academic professors leading with intelligence a great existence in the world. Their children Lydia (Alais Lawson) and Thomas (Andrew Rothney) flying the nest and standing on their own two feet but always supported by their loving parents. The voice in Alice’s head (Ruth Gammell) begins to question small unimportant things, do you know him? where did you put your keys? To the bigger and more confusing state of mind, where am I? As we are drawn into Alice’s mind the complexity of thoughts and actions becomes more jagged, unable to remain in the same conversation without losing the way. The devastation of this takes its toll on the whole family as the realisation of what is happening hits home.
Sharon Small and Ruth Gammell are fantastic in portraying the two consciousnesses of Alice as she struggles to understand and accept the inevitable. The scenes with them alone are heartfelt, full of emotion and life, showing the inner conflict, depicting what we can only imagine it would be like. Dominic Mafham as John is strong in character but morally weak which is perfect in making us dislike his approach to care. The children are both fierce in defending what is right and draw on the raw emotion of the situation to make us feel their pain.
Be ready to feel involved and accompany Alice on her journey, with incredible visuals aligning with the emotion and metal state to the very end. An incredible production and one to always remember and keep in your heart.
More Information on Still Alice
Alice Howland is stubborn, clever and driven – a professional at the top of her game. But, diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s at the age of 50, she is compelled to confront her new reality and draw on her resilience to remain independent for as long as possible.
Alice strives to remain true to the woman she has always been, while relationships shift within her family, in her work and most importantly with herself.
Uncompromising yet tender, this new adaptation of the award-winning novel truthfully acknowledges life with a progressive disease – its conflicts and burden, and its small, priceless victories.
Featuring British actress Sharon Small as Alice, this play is a unique insight into the experience of a woman fighting to maintain her identity as her world changes.