If care home residents cannot go to the theater, we will bring it to them. That is the promise done by of the troop “Les Derniers Enfants du Siècle”, in partnership with 1 Lettre 1 Sourire.
A quick throwback to this first theater care homes tour with: Fantasio by Alfred de Musset played in several care homes in the Bretagne region.
A play in a care home
Let us be real, acting in front of elders was a real challenge. For us comedians, it means speaking up, articulate, exaggerate our movements. Once these are on point we recognize two distinct groups: the ones that come 45 minutes ahead of the play with a smile on their face, and the ones that would be anywhere else if they could. Once the play starts, the first group applauses at the end of every scene, the other does not hesitate to comment each sentence: “If they come to tell bulls**t…”
But whilst the intrigue is building up, the first group converts the others and you can see the faces smoothing up, and the laughter finally coming out.
“Will you do another one?” asks one of the residents once the play barely ended. In the end the hardest part was to keep the discussions short, refuse shaking hands, keep the mask on and stay at a safe distance from the residents.
From the theater to the letters
On top of our care homes tour, we also play in public places. That way at the end of each play we make people aware of 1 Lettre 1 Sourire et hand over paper so people can write to elders. During our care home plays, we read these letters to the residents after our performance.
We shared so many letters from the public, especially from kids. That was amazing since we actually got to meet the people that wrote them.
“This letter and this drawing are from Apolline, she is 6 years old et just lost her deciduous teeth.
– Here on the drawing there is a heart, a little character and a sun.
– That is so nice thank you!”
We also read to the residents a few of the letters from the website. They really brighten their day.
A few residents keep them tight in their hands and read them later multiple times.
“Oh yes… I do not know you, but I am thinking a lot about you” … (followed by a secret smile of emotion)”
Louis Davesne and Hortense Duron, young comedians from the Les Derniers Enfants du Siècle troop