A dystopian comedy, set in an imagined future, about the problems of an ageing population. PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF PRODUCTION DATES
Old age is all the rage. Newspaper articles and TV shows have seized on the growing imbalance of the UK population, and the fact that there are 10 million of us over 65. But Tamsin Oglesby is one of the first to confront the situation theatrically in this dystopian comedy, set in this country about 40 years from now, when the problem of an ageing population, with many in the grip of dementia, has become even more pressing than it is at present. Her play imagines an even worse future where life is nasty, brutish – and long. Officials are drawing up drastic plans to deal with the problem, including sending those with dementia to sinister state hospitals called Arks to be guinea pigs for drug trials that just might offer a cure for the condition – but with sometimes dreadful side-effects. Oglesby writes with a controlled anger about the treatment of the old as a social affliction, and the play is about treating the old as people, rather than as a perpetual problem. Her play has something of the bad-taste zaniness of Joe Orton, but she makes it both moving and upsetting by depicting three generations of a family facing up to the realities of age. Somehow you keep laughing even as you find yourself engulfed in depression about the horrors of old age and the perniciousness of government.
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