Lost Love: Jennifer Ward-Lealand and Michael Hurst take to the stage to navigate a marriage challenged by Alzheimers

In Other Words is a tender and enduring love story that delves into the profound effects of Alzheimer's disease and the transformative power of music.

Starring the incomparable duo Jennifer Ward-Lealand and Michael Hurst, this touching production making its Australasian premiere at Rangatira, Q Theatre running September 3 to September 15, 2024. This production comes to the stage during World Alzheimer’s Month.

Written by young UK playwright Matthew Seager, In Other Words takes audiences on a journey through 50 years of Arthur and Jane's relationship, intertwining memories and the struggles of coping with Alzheimer's disease. Connected by the timeless music of Frank Sinatra, the play beautifully explores how music serves as a lifeline, helping patients hold onto cherished memories and navigate the complexities of their fading realities.

Matthew Seager's inspiration for the play stemmed from his experiences facilitating sensory stimulation workshops in a care home, where he witnessed firsthand the profound impact of music on individuals living with dementia.

In their first ever two-hander production in careers that span over four decades, Jennifer Ward-Lealand and Michael Hurst play two characters that meet in their 20's, fall in love, and share a life together. In real life Jennifer and Michael have also been together since their 20s, mirroring the protagonists. Their real life connection, along with their celebrated talent, lends deeper meaning and promises to make this a piece of outstanding craft.

The last time Jennifer and Micheal played husband and wife on stage was in the sellout extended season of The Goat for Silo Theatre in 2005 - a production that was a career highlight for both. Having performed together so many times, they have a shorthand for working together which leads them quickly to the depth and nuance of a piece. “We’re both going into this show with a huge amount of enthusiasm”, says Jennifer. She adds “I’ve had some beloved family members and friends head down this road. It’s pretty devastating and a lot to carry for loved ones.”

Producer, Callum Brodie of Figment Productions is passionate about this play being relevant for the world we live in. “As a species we are now living longer than previous generations, resulting in a rise of age-related illnesses at a scale that previous generations rarely saw. Nearly everyone will know someone who has gone through, or been affected by someone with dementia or other cognitive impairment diseases. To find a play that deals with this subject with such respect, humour and authenticity is a story worth telling”, says Callum.

In Other Words was first produced in 2017 and was revived last year with a return run in London and a UK tour. The play was also adapted into French winning four Moliere Awards including Best Play.


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