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National Theatre of Wales to stage play about dementia choirs

Matthew Dunster will direct Patrick Jones' new production

Matthew Dunster

The National Theatre of Wales will stage a new play about dementia choirs, featuring songs by artists such as Tom Jones and the Sex Pistols.

Before I Leave is written by Patrick Jones and is inspired by his work at the Cwm Taf choir in Merthyr, which is supported by the Alzheimer's Society. The play follows a group of Alzheimer's sufferers and attempts to highlight the plight of those struck down by the disease.

A 12-strong cast will be joined by a community choir of singers aged 65-plus in the production, which will be directed by Matthew Dunster. The piece also features a new song from Nicky Wire and James Dean Bradfield of the Manic Street Preachers.

Jones said: "This play is a testament to the healing power of song. All of us can remember a song that meant so much to us at a certain point in life. In the fog and confusion of dementia, hearing a particular song can ignite a forgotten flame."

The show runs from 31 May to 11 June at the Sherman Theatre in Cardiff.