As you get ready to turn the clocks forward next weekend, the Wyvern Theatre will be turning time back several decades when they host a brand new event as part of their Season of Vintage.

The Season, which was compiled to celebrate nostalgic entertainment as well as raise vital funds for Alzheimer’s Society and the Wyvern Theatre Memory Café, will next turn to the Wartime eras as Sebastian Faulks’s critically acclaimed Birdsong takes to the stage from Tue 20 – Sat 24 March.

In addition to the stage show, there will also be a brand new event taking place from 6pm on Fri 23 March as the Wyvern Theatre host their Wartime Pie and Punch Party. Created to support Alzheimer’s Society’s national Flashback day, the Victory style party will hand out ration tokens to exchange for a welcome glass of punch and a generous serving of dessert pie, before swing dancing aficionados Swingout Swindon take to the dance floor to demonstrate moves from across the eras and invite guests to join them for a jive or two.

The mini-event, which takes place in the theatre’s function room before the evening performance of Birdsong, will also see cast stopping by to take part in the festivities. Actor Martin Caroll, who plays Azaire in the show, has experienced dementia first hand and recognises a link between his experience and the story of Birdsong, “My mother was diagnosed with Vascular Dementia in her early to mid-eighties. Her condition meant that in her mind, a lot of the time she thought she was a young girl again & she would give us vivid descriptions of her life, pre & post war. Her memories, for her, were like constant flashbacks, very similar to those we experience in Birdsong.”

Fortunately, Martin’s mother spent her final years in a dementia specialised home, but Martin appreciates the need for a greater understanding, “Previous to mum’s care home stay, we didn’t think that the awareness of her particular illness was very acute. I’m sure that understanding is getting better now, but we need to keep building on it as we find ways of helping sufferers and their loved ones through such a debilitating condition.”

Alzheimer’s Society Community Fundraiser, Lucie Fowler spoke of the fundraising efforts, “We are delighted that the Wyvern Theatre has chosen to unite against dementia but hosting a Flashback event. Their Wartime themed event is a wonderful opportunity to bring the local community together to reminiscence while supporting those living with dementia.”

Now on its fourth UK tour, Birdsong is the mesmerising story of love and courage, set both before and during the Great War.

Tickets for the Wartime Pie & Punch Party are just £8, £6 of which will go directly to Alzheimer’s Society. Tickets are available at swindontheatres.co.uk or by calling the Ticket Office on 01793 524 481. Birdsong runs at the Wyvern Theatre from Tue 20 – Sat 24 March.

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