27 May - 11 June 2016
Sherman Theatre, Cardiff
Before I Leave
National Theatre Wales with Wales Millennium Centre
Written by Patrick Jones
Directed by Matthew Dunster
Before I leave I'll give you some happiness
The laughter and pain, the good that remains
Hold me tighter still, keep me safe until
Hold me close, before I leave
In Merthyr, people who are losing themselves find each other in a choir for individuals living with dementia and Alzheimer's.
Joe is too young, this shouldn't be happening to him; Dyanne battles to hold on to the man she married.
Evan and Rocky fight a 30-year-old fight - the miners’ strike may be long gone, but the scars remain as the memories jumble and fade.
Ex-librarian and mezzo-soprano Marge has lost her voice. Perhaps only the choir can help her get it back.
And Isabelle won’t let her spirit be locked away and forgotten in a care home that she thinks doesn't care at all.
A funny, moving and ultimately uplifting production featuring covers of well-known songs by artists ranging from Tom Jones to the Sex Pistols, plus a new song by Nicky Wire and James Dean Bradfield of Manic Street Preachers.
27 May – 11 June, 7.30pm
31 May 7.00pm
27 – 30 May
Saturday 11 June, 2.30pm - Captioned and Audio Described Performance - with BSL pre show talk
Thursday 9 June, 2.30pm - Relaxed Performance
Captioned Relaxed Peformance
Thursday 9 June, 2.30pm
Captioned and Audio Described Performance - with BSL pre show talk
Saturday 11 June, 2.30pm
Post show talk
2 & 8 June
£15 - £25
Previews: £12 - £20
Concessions: £2 off
Under 25s: Half price
Contains strong language
Part of Festival of Voice, a new international festival in Cardiff, 3 - 12 June 2016
Latitude and Longitude:
Sherman Theatre, Sherman Theatre, Cardiff, CF24 4YE
“I'm sat in on a choir rehearsal on a cold, wet, winter Thursday in Merthyr Rugby Club. A hubbub of talk. Noise. Teacups. The news is full of suicide bombings, child abduction, the extreme religious right, David Cameron and George Osborne. I am losing the will to live. The choir leader, guitarist and singer strike up ‘You'll Never Walk Alone'. The choir inhales and start to sing. Members know every word.
I am overwhelmed. Uncontrollably, I feel tears well in my eyes. I gulp. As I look around I see feet tapping, shoulders swaying, hands holding, eyes shining.
This is Cwm Taf Choir, made up of people diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia and their carers. No, it can't be. People with Alzheimer's fade away in nursing homes, are incapable of moving, cannot speak let alone sing, don't they?
I look around. See the stories flicker before my eyes. Feel the spirits lift. Hear the words live.
This is a story that desperately needs to be told. So I’m telling it…”
Ian Dickinson for Autograph
Associate Musical Director
Gaynor Morgan Rees
Download Before I Leave free
© 2016 Nicky Wire and James Dean Bradfield
Listen to our Spotify playlist of songs which have inspired this production...
I laughed. And I cried, a lot.
I cannot recommend buying a ticket enough
has a huge heart
irresistibly moving - and it might just send you out into the night singing
strikes directly at the heart
You will laugh, you will cry and you will definitely be touched by Before I Leave
Empathic, humorous and touching