In August 2015, my maternal grandfather passed away following a short battle with his health – predominantly old age. Over the last few months of his life, it had been evident that he was suffering from some form of dementia, although due to his passing, this was never officially diagnosed. Less than three years later, in the March of 2018, my paternal grandfather died after battling Alzheimer’s disease; he had been suffering for eleven years.
In the months that followed, I decided that this harrowing disease, which affects the sufferer and their families and friends, needed due attention. What better way to bring attention to dementia than by focusing my next play on that very subject?
‘Leave An Empty Chair’ Chronicles the last few years of Michael Summers (Mike happened to be a nickname given to my grandfather to differentiate between him and another Alan) from the point in which he is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. A considerable amount of the story is factual and based on actual events that occurred to my granddad and our family in a semi-biographical way.
Hopefully, the play will allow for a few laughs, tears and, most importantly, bring awareness to the blight on life that is dementia.
The play will premiere in 2023 (May 30th – June 3rd) at Stoke Repertory Theatre.
Casting updates and ticket information will follow in the spring of 2022!
Hopefully, see you there!
Steven K Beattie's blogs. Ranging from news regarding his latest projects to general topics of discussion.