★★★★

 

FRANCESCA MEPHAM

carnstheatrepassion.com

"Beautifully tender moments...Wilkinson's writing is lyrical & poetic".

 

SIAN ROWLANDS

pubtheatres1.tumblr.com

★★★★

 

SCOTT ROBERTS

scottrobertswriter.com

★★★★

 

ANNIE TAYLOR

femalearts.com

"Natural, unforced and totally convincing acting...thoughtfully directed."

 

SUSAN ELKIN

sardinesmagazine.co.uk

Charlie and Amy were married for twenty-three years and darlings of the children’s literature circle. But, when Amy developed Alzheimer’s disease, their former lives existed only in the story Charlie told her every day.

 

Starting from the present day and unraveling back to when they first met, this new play highlights the importance of precious memories shared with the ones we love, and how devotion and heroism can often be the same thing.

 

The tumultuous and shifting world of Alzheimer’s disease is brought to life with sharp authenticity, drawn from the personal experiences of playwright R J Wilkinson with direction from David Macintosh Loumgair.

This new play produced alongside Alzheimer’s Society UK a crucial wake up call.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR

RJ WILKINSON

'The Smallest Story Ever Told' is the first play I have written out of necessity. As bold claims go, that one reaches up into the realms of "Please never stop slapping this man." But it is a fact. This is the most deeply personal story I have written, and it came to life through the intersection of two separate events.

 

I had recently lost my uncle George Bain to a battle with cancer. As a final request to me, he asked that I speak at his funeral. This request came with a single caveat: It had to be funny.

 

After much wringing of hands and self doubt, I did it. I wrote a funny speech that had them rolling in the aisles as promised, but I still had all these feelings, things penned up inside that had to come out. So, after months of anxiously waiting, wondering what to I should do, I took out a fresh spiral-bound notebook and set about writing a comedy about grief.

 

I didn't see any currency in just reliving what happened, so instead I looked to the living. A friend of mine (Elsie Fairbairn) had recently been housed in residential care, living with a form of dementia. I would visit her with her family and set about the task of making her laugh. Slowly, piece by piece, little by little, she vanished from us whilst sitting right there in front of us. Nobody wants to remember a friend that way. If only we could wind back the clock to when none of this happened.

 

So that was it. A comedy-drama about how to survive grief: You stand in the wreckage of all the loss and just own it. Then work your way back to the beginning. Where there is so much joy. So much hope.

 

Accepting that each of us will one day die, falling in love is the greatest act of heroism afforded to us: To decide that you will turn up each day for someone and be there for them; devotion and heroism are synonymous when you look at it like that. I wanted this play to celebrate that heroism.

 

The play takes its title from this sentiment. It is the oldest story in the world. Two people fall in love. That people keep doing this day upon day is cause for hope.

 

This play is for all the heroes.

 

OFFICIAL TRAILER

Photo. © Claire Bilyard 2015

LONDON PRESS

"...another superb new writing, which covers a subject that is heartbreaking but heart affirming too, as the response to it from it’s incredible cast made this play a staple in raising awareness to Alzheimer’s and the human condition. This is truly a remarkable new work from R J Wilkinson."

 

★★★★

FRANCESCA MEPHAM

carnstheatrepassion.com

"...its raw, honest and heartbreaking all at once, and I must admit I had to make a dash for the ladies to fix my eyeliner as soon as the show was over, having there on wept my way to the end. It carried a message not necessarily of hope, but of life going on, as it will - as it does. It’s a feeling I think we can all relate to; it certainly struck a truth within me."

 

★★★★

ANNIE TAYLOR

femalearts.com

"A production I walked away from having to wrack my brain to find fault, it’s a brave and beautiful piece of work that deserves our applause."

 

★★★★

SCOTT ROBERTS

scottrobertswriter.com

 "A simple story played out by an accomplished cast of seven with few props and two chairs for a set. There are no gimmicks."

 

SUSAN ELKIN

sardinesmagazine.com

"There are some beautifully tender moments in the play and Wilkinson’s writing is lyrical and poetic... A story with real poignancy."

 

SIAN ROWLANDS

pubtheatres1.tumblr.com

LONDON COMPANY

Katharine Moraz

AMY DONNELLY

Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts

 

Theatre credits include: One Man, Two Guvnors (National Tour), Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray (Singapore & Malaysia), The Blonde Bombshells of 1943 (Oldham Coliseum) Ophelia in Hamlet (Young Shakespeare Company) and Avenue Q (UK tour for Cameron Mackintosh and TRB).

 

 

Alastair Kirton

CHARLIE DONNELLY

London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts

 

Alastair's  stage work has a strong focus on new writing, including productions at; Battersea Arts Centre, Welsh Millennium Centre, New Ambassadors and Southwark Playhouse.

 

He also has substantial film experience. As well as playing the lead in Nowhere Fast's Award winning Micro-budget feature - 'Colin',

which was released internationally, Alastair has a number of other film and commercial credits.

Jamie Scott-Smith

MATTHEW DONNELLY

Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts

 

Theatre credits include: The Secret Garden (The Space), I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change (Bridewell Theatre), Scandinavian Heart (Tristan Bates Theatre), Anne Frank, A New Musical (The Fiddler's Elbow), Wizard of Oz (Royal Theatre - Northampton).

Commercials: Microsoft Windows and Sony Playstation.

 

 Jamie also runs West End Video and is a professional photographer.

Kathryn Shenton

SALLY MASON

The Oxford School of Drama

 

Kathryn made her professional theatre debut in 'The Smallest Story Ever Told' after graduating from The Oxford School of Drama that year.

 

Theatre credits whilst training include: Ratchet (Soho Theatre), Julius Caesar (The North Wall - Oxford) & Three Sisters (Oxford).

William De Coverly

EVAN CAVENDISH

London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts

 

Theatre credits include: King Lear (Rose Playhouse),Othello (The Malachites), Decade (Theatre 503), Diamond (King's Head Theatre), The Gay Man's Guide (The Drill Hall), All the Daughters of War (National Theatre Studio), Petrograd (Old Red Lion) & Cornelia (Shakespeare's Globe 'Read Not Dead' Season).

 

Juliet Knight

DR URSULA JENNER

Rose Bruford Drama School

 

Juliet works as a director, deviser and workshop facilitator alongside acting, and has had the great privilege of creating new work with some amazing writers including; Tanika Gupta, Jamilla Gavin, Rebecca Lenciewicz and Luke Barnes.

 

She also works extensively at the National Youth Theatre as a director.

Emily Bairstow                     

rosie grimes

The Oxford School of Drama

 

Theatre credits include: Spent (Soho Theatre), Acres (New Diorama), Merry Wives of Windsor (Principal Theatre Company), Shoot I Didn’t Mean That & The Last Days of Mankind (The Tristan Bates Theatre/National Theatre Studio), Much Ado About Nothing (Young Shakespeare Company), Titus Andronicus (Pleasance Theatre) & Othello (Underbelly Topside).

THE ORIGINAL

TIDELINE RUNNERS

COMPANY

 

Charlie Donnelly

GARY ROBSON

 

Amy Donnelly

SOPHIE ARMSTRONG

 

Dr. Ursula Jenner

Trudy Morrison

 

Matt Donnelly

ROSS SLACK

 

Evan Cavendish

ALEX MACDONALD-SMITH

 

Sally Mason

TAMSIN DAVIDSON

 

Written & Directed by

R J WILKINSON