Oscar's sure to prove a winner in demential play
A NEW young performer has joined The Castle Players for the group’s latest production.
However, eight-year-old Oscar can be forgiven if his performances are a little wooden – he’s a puppet.
Oscar takes his place in Always by Your Side, a play about dementia awareness that will tour to local junior schools at the end of March.
The production, now in rehearsal, was originally planned for 2020, but was delayed by the outbreak of Covid. Written by Jessica Shepherd, who grew up locally, the play features an eight-year-old boy who comes to understand why his Grandma is becoming so forgetful.
Director Laurence Sach explained: “It wouldn’t have been practical to cast a real eight-year-old in the role so there seemed to be only one solution – Oscar had to be a puppet.”
Professional puppet maker, Georgia Hill, was commissioned to create the character who has already proved a hit with the other members of the cast.
Ms Hill delivered Oscar at the end of January when he was welcomed by Susan and Ian Kirkbride, who lead the Barnard Castle Dementia Friendly Community Group, a partner in the project.
Mrs Kirkbride said: “Oscar will really help young people watching the performances to engage with the play; it will help them understand some of the issues around dementia, and think of ways they can help.”
The project has been made possible with financial support from Teesdale Action Partnership (TAP), Barnard Castle Lions, Barnard Castle Town Council, and Marwood Parish Council.