The sofa keeps memories for siblings in new play coming to Sheffield

The MakeShift Ensemble are heading to The Crucible Studio in Sheffield this April as part of their spring tour of 'Sofa', a brand new play exploring memory and 'unmemory'.
The MakeShift Ensemble are heading to The Crucible Studio in Sheffield this April as part of their spring tour of 'Sofa', a brand new play exploring memory and 'unmemory'.
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A travelling theatre company who produce plays based on people power is bringing its latest show to the Crucible next month.

The MakeShift Ensemble are heading to The Crucible Studio this April as part of their spring tour of ‘Sofa’ – a brand new play exploring memory and ‘unmemory’.

The show is described as an exploration of memory, place and the worlds we create around us. It is performed by two actors and a puppet.

The story delves into the shared memories of a brother and sister, Rachel and Mark, whose father lived with dementia and investigates the role of memory and also how they bring changing perspectives to their memories.

The company employ their distinct blend of storytelling, puppetry and physical theatre to tell their tale, which is inspired in part by real life events and experiences.

The piece will tell the stories with humour and pathos, that sometimes go untold.

Writer and performer Jacqueline Avery said the idea for the play was inspired by her own family life.

“The idea sprang from tidying up after my children.

“They used to destroy the kitchen sofa regularly when creating dens, boats and cars out of it.

“I started to think about when and why we lose that desire to play as we grow, and what roles a sofa plays as we go through life.

“It becomes a place to rest, talk, entertain and to comfort, as well as a treasure chest of loose change and things you thought you’d lost forever.

“It is quite literally a keeper of memories.”

She added that the play also did not shy away from discussing the reality of dementia, but explored it in a different way.

“From here there was an organic progression to exploring dementia, not necessarily as an illness but simply another way the brain chooses to process memory.

“This isn’t to say we don’t deal with the realities of living with and caring for those with dementia, it’s important not to skim over that, but the focus is on the role of memory and ‘unmemory’ and what it means as we grow.”

“We are thrilled to be bringing Sofa to The Crucible Studio, developing our tour base further and making more connections with audiences and dementia communities alike.”

The MakeShift Ensemble was formed in 2015 by Jacqueline and collaborator Laurence Aldridge, who have bought a wealth of performing, play and music writing experience together to create new work for audiences both young and old.

The company also produce theatre for children and families and tour nationwide with their plays including some of the UK’s biggest family festivals.

The Company have been supported by Arts Council England in creating the production.

‘Sofa’ comes to The Crucible studio on Tuesday April 3.

Tickets, which are priced between £10.50 and £12.50, are available online at www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk/whats-on/sofa.

You can also call the box office on 0114 249 6000 to book tickets.

The performance will start at 7.45pm.

For further information, please go online and visit the official website at www.themakeshiftensemble.com.