Umbrella by Katherine Edwards for Bloomsbury Radio
Last week, Katherine Edwards’ debut radio play Umbrella previewed to audiences before being broadcast live on Bloomsbury Radio
Umbrella is a radio play that examines how someone suffering from dementia might experience memory loss and the confusion that comes with the disease. Originally written for the stage, Katherine Edwards adapted this piece for radio and was selected by Bloomsbury for development under the New Wave programme for emerging talent. The play was broadcast live on Bloomsbury Radio as a part of this year’s Bloomsbury Festival.
For those in the audience, not only can they get to step inside the mind of someone experiencing dementia, but this piece also gives a voice to the families caring for their loved ones as they watch her disappear before their eyes. Using just their voices, the actors manage to convey great emotion and meaning. The experience of listening to this play was incredibly moving and emotive. It really is a heartfelt piece that strives to get to the core of this, often misunderstood, illness.
Edwards was supported by the Alzheimer’s Society and draws upon personal experience beautifully demonstrating the passage and blurring of time as we listen to the present melt into the past.
Dementia is an umbrella term that covers a number of different diseases, including the most common Dementia Alzheimer’s Disease, as well as Lewy Body Dementia and Vascular Dementia. The disease is still an under-represented theme on the stage and mainstream media platforms, despite the fact that most of us will experience some form of dementia either directly or through witnessing and caring for a loved one. So, it’s really good to see Bloomsbury supporting this kind of work.
Katherine Edwards is an emerging playwright and is taking part in some spoken word events in London later this year.