Homework - The London Theatre
Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle
NAMELESS Theatre Company is presenting Homework, a new play by Howard Colyer, at The London Theatre – from Tuesday, November 13 to Saturday, December 1, 2012.
This intimate two-hander centres on an elderly women veering between the borders of dementia and lucidity. Agitated by a shrinking frame of reference and a myriad of tangled memories, her life revolves around phone calls to her middle-aged son, Vincent.
Comprising thirty scenes and thirty phone calls, mother and son live out their cyclical relationship one call at a time.
With a set split between Vincent’s writing studio and his mother’s bedsit, the play is similarly torn between the humorous and harsh truths in their relationship. Whilst Vincent attempts to care for his aged mother, she still chides her 48 year old son like a child, as her past becomes assimilated into one continuous event.
In an age of ever-increasing dementia levels amongst the elderly, and rising national focus on the lack of proper institutional care, Homework illustrates these issues from a refreshingly delicate and human perspective.
Dementia describes different disorders that trigger a loss of the functions of the brain. These conditions are all usually progressive and eventually severe. There are currently 800,000 dementia sufferers in the UK, with numbers set to rise to over 1 million by 2021. One in three people over 65 will die with Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia. There is no known cure for the disease, yet the government invests eight times less in dementia research than cancer research.
Howard Colyer is a playwright and novelist, and the current writer in residence with Nameless Theatre. He and Artistic Director James Farrell have previously collaborated on Kafka V Kafka (2012), adapted from Franz Kafka’s Letter to my Father. Colyer’s works include Conference Call, The Overcoat and Finchley Road (plays); Gregory Gun and Oldshaw (novels).
Nameless Theatre’s past productions include Miracle (2011), Miss Julie (2009), Carve (2008), and The Sperm Monologues (2006).
Homework is directed by Scott Le Crass and designed by Libby Todd, with lighting by Anna Sbokou and sound by Dario Burns.
Homework is suitable for ages 12+.
Tickets: £12, £10 concessions – available from the box office on 0208 694 1888 or online at www.thelondontheatre.com/.
Time: Tuesday to Saturday at 8pm.
Running Time: 60 minutes (no interval).
The London Theatre, 443 New Cross Road, London, SE14 6TA