Comedy review: Adventures in Dementia - Steve Day, Laughing Horse at The Lock Up

Adventures in Dementia - Steve Day, Laughing Horse at The Lock Up (Venue 185)
Adventures in Dementia - Steve Day, Laughing Horse at The Lock Up (Venue 185)
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Steve Day, Britain’s only deaf comedian, tells the story of his father in this beautifully written hour.

Adventures in Dementia: Steve Day, Laughing Horse @ The Lock Up ****

Day’s Dad died last year, after slowly losing his mind to Alzheimer’s Disease.

But this show celebrates the man as he was – squaddie, semi professional footballer, champion bricklayer, husband and father.

Day, who thanks to the latest generation of hearing aids, is able to hear music for the first time since childhood, uses a soundtrack of nostalgic hits to evoke the different eras of his father’s life.

His father was a soul enthusiast, who liked jazz and later became a disco fan.

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He grew to love Day’s ex Olympian wife and to adore his grand-children, becoming unexpectedly soft hearted in later life.

Day gradually introduces us to a whole cast of characters, his wife, his children, his brothers and his mum, who cared for his father almost till the end.

And he brilliantly evokes his own childhood, of endless summer days in Lowestoft, playing outside for hours, listening to Top of the Pops on the sofa.

Day sings along, invites the audience to join in and even does a dance routine – such is his joy at being able to hear music after being deprived of it for so long.

He doesn’t linger on his Dad’s final illness but doesn’t flinch from telling us the details. And he shows how his understanding of his father has grown and deepened over time.

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When he shows us a slide show of faded photographs and we see the faces of the real people in the story it is a wonderfully poignant and deeply moving.

His story is funny, wise and full of tenderness. It’s the exceptionally well told story of an ordinary family, which reminds us of the wonder at the heart of everyday life.

CLAIRE SMITH

Until 10 August

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