Book review: The loss of small white clouds: dementia in contemporary performance

Ward, Meghann ORCID logo ORCID: (2024) Book review: The loss of small white clouds: dementia in contemporary performance. Dementia .

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Meghánn Catherine Ward - Research Fellow at the Health and Society Knowledge Exchange, Institute of Health, University of Cumbria, UK - reviews the book: 'The Loss of Small White Clouds: Dementia in Contemporary Performance', edited by Morgan Batch (Routledge: Abingdon, Oxon, 2024, ISBN 9781032252025).

Morgan Batch’s timely book The Loss of Small White Clouds (2024) is a comprehensive exploration of 11 dementia-centred theatre performances staged in the Global North since the 2010s, which draw on familial, clinical, socio-cultural, political, communal, experiential, (non)spatial, religious, and interior dementia narratives. Batch challenges outdated stereotypes about the realities of living with dementia by spotlighting dementia narratives that lead the story, performance and (re)presentation. From traditional to radical, spoken word to more-than-verbal, tragedy to ownership, conventional plot to non-linearity, characters arcs to destabilisation, fairytale to realism to crude dystopia – the chosen performances are considered by Batch for their dramaturgy, themes, and broader messages about dementia. The book not only discusses how these dementia stories are portrayed, but also who the creative force or data source is behind them, be it autobiographical, research-informed verbatim theatre, or works informed by medical professionals or creative practitioners. Taken as a whole, this is a substantial undertaking but one that Batch artfully achieves through careful consideration of theatrical composition and subject matter.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: Dementia
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 1741-2684
Departments: Institute of Health > Medical Sciences
Health and Society Knowledge Exchange (HASKE)
Additional Information: Meghánn Catherine Ward, PhD, is an interdisciplinary gerontologist who specializes in dementia, well-being, arts engagement, and place-based approaches. She is currently a Research Fellow at the Health and Society Knowledge Exchange (HASKE) at the University of Cumbria, England, where she conducts health and social care service evaluations for local organizations, mental health services, and national health providers. She also works as an Associate Editor for Anthropology & Aging and is a steering committee member of the Creative Ageing SIG at the British Society of Gerontology.
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 14 May 2024 11:05
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2024 10:15


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