Still Alice is a ‘moving look at how someone's life changes after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's’
THE Leeds Playhouse adaptation of Still Alice is being staged this week at the Liverpool Playhouse.
The work is taken from the 2007 debut novel of Lisa Genova, which was made into the 2014 film starring Julianne Moore.
The play follows the life of Alice, a 50 year old professor of linguistics at Harvard University who is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
Alice is played by Sharon Small who goes to see the doctor after she starts to forget what she has been doing. She thinks at first that the forgetfulness may be early signs of the menopause, but this is not the case.
Small is able to portray the panic her character is feeling as her mind deteriorates. Eva Pope plays Alice’s thoughts or inner self. This was a good way to show audiences what Alice is thinking.
Alice’s family have difficulty in coming to terms with Alice’s condition. There is a poignant scene where Alice continually asks her daughter, Lydia (Ruth Ollman) the same question about the show she is appearing in.
Her daughter and her son, Thomas (Mark Armstrong) then discuss the best way to help their mum.
Alice's husband John (Martin Marquez) finds it difficult at first to accept Alice has Alzheimer's, but is more supportive towards the end of the play.
The work also highlights the distress people with Alzheimer's can experience. In the show, Alice has forgotten that one of her family members has died, and when she is told they are dead, she reacts as though she is hearing for the first time.
This is a moving look at how someone's life changes after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's. 9/10