At school, I recall being taken into 'old people's homes', where we were wheeled out in front of a
group of older people who had our renditions of war songs somewhat forced upon them, I fear. We were
rarely, if ever, prompted to engage with residents beyond our awkward performances. We knew that in making this piece of theatre, it had to be active and engaged. It had to not only be for and about older people, but put them at the heart of its making as well. We wanted people of all ages to hear the actual words of older people verbatim, not in a darkened theatre, but in a setting that put everyone at their ease, that enabled them to properly listen.
We launched our project by meeting with groups of older people in Winchester. We shared tea and
cake and posed questions, asking them to talk about their lives. From those first meetings, we identified a demographically diverse group of six interviewees whom we met individually in order to record them talking. Our participants were startlingly open. They trusted us with the most significant moments in their
lives, their children, their partners, moments of triumph and of loss.