‘The Keys are in the Margarine’ October 14, 2015

Clevercare was delighted to provide some last minute support for a touring play about Alzheimer’s when it visited Hamilton in September.

‘The keys are in the margarine’ is an insightful and at times funny documentary play in which the actors recreate verbatim, segments of interviews of people living with dementia, their families, care workers and medical professionals. Each actor depicts multiple interviewees, switching with simple costume and seating changes and exactly mimicking every character’s speech and mannerisms as they discuss their experience. A screen at the rear of the state captions each person’s name as they are depicted.

Clevercare heard at the last minute that the play was coming and hastily arranged a modest sponsorship whereby we were able to support the production and invite a number of guests to see the play, as well as putting some display material in the foyer for the show’s five night season.

Managing director Stuart Pedersen and his wife Pamela hosted a group on the Thursday night – less than a week after Stuart joined the firm. “We were really taken with the play, but then we were in for a real surprise” said Stuart. “An old mate of mine Nigel from Wellington has Alzheimer’s, and I was planning to ring his wife Tanya the next day to catch up for the first time in over twenty five years. We couldn’t believe it when ‘Nigel and Tanya’ flashed up on the screen, and there was Nigel with all his speech and mannerisms exactly as I remembered, being portrayed by an actor! What was a very touching and illuminating play, suddenly came very close to home.

“As if that was not coincidence enough, a fortnight later we were in Wellington for the weekend and I bumped into Nigel in a cafe! It’s certainly a small country and it was great to see him again, and to see the recognition on his face when he saw me.

“There was a good audience, but it seemed to be mostly people who are very close to Alzheimer’s through family or career, and a core of diehard theatre supporters. I only wish we could have heard about the play earlier, and helped to expose it to a much wider public.”




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