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Three minute loop to the here and now

PUBLISHED: 16:24 17 March 2009 | UPDATED: 13:09 11 August 2010

Eleanor Bennett

Eleanor Bennett

THEY SAY the mark of a true professional is giving more than you get – and this description seems to fit Eleanor Bennet in more ways than one. Because this consummate performer who wrote and stars in one woman show, Off Her Trolley, gave her all last w

THEY SAY the mark of a true professional is giving more than you get - and this description seems to fit Eleanor Bennet in more ways than one.

Because this consummate performer who wrote and stars in one woman show, Off Her Trolley, gave her all last week in front of a rather small audience.

It was a great shame that more people did not make it to The Spotted Dog in Barking on Friday (March 6) because they would have witnessed something rather special.

Off Her Trolley is a humorous yet deeply effecting piece of theatre that will have you laughing out loud one minute and fighting back tears the next.

Anyone who works in the caring profession or has ever made the difficult decision of putting a loved one into a home will strongly identify with this play.

It is so realistic and unpretentious and gives a voice to people who are often not listened to and exploited.

The story centres around three main characters - a young, inexperienced carer, an older, dedicated carer and a relative who comes to visit.

Each of the characters is crafted with humour and insight by someone who is in a position to know how many of them feel.

Eleanor Bennet still works as a carer but "I can't tell you where because I want to keep my job!" she told the POST.

Much of the material in the show is drawn from real life experiences of elderly people she has cared for over the years.

Eleanor said: "So many older people still have something to offer us and I think we have a tendency to forget that.

"I cared for an elderly lady once who taught me how to slow down and live in the here and now - even though she was on a sort of three minute loop.

"She would say something and then three minutes later say the same thing again."

The show also deals with the difficult issues families face as they make the decision to put their mother or father into a home.

Eleanor said: "People feel so guilt ridden. They feel that they will be judged for putting a loved one in a home.

"But it is hard enough coping with conditions like Dementia and Alzheimer's without having to feel guilty too.

"This play is about showing people who feel isolated that they are not alone."

In fact Eleanor is offering free tickets to her show for carers because she is so passionate about getting her message across.

The next date in her London wide tour is Saturday (March 14) when she will perform at the Dr Johnson in Longwood Gardens, Ilford at 8.30pm and you can buy tickets on the door, £7.


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