• Amy Toledano

One Hundred Trillion Presented by The Dot Collective

What is it?

Taking inspiration from the work they did with dementia groups from South East London in 2018, The Dot Collective brings us an immersive experience that expands and illuminates stories from those who are living with or in direct contact with dementia in the form of four short plays.

What's it all about?

Broken down into small plays, One Hundred Trillion takes us on a journey of the mind. Our host for the evening is Arthur (Stuart Turner), who leads us into the Memory Room where we are presented with an exhibition of work from dementia workshops based within South London. The space is incredibly intimate and as we are presented with a film that explains the connection between the workshops and the plays, the tone is set and we are led into the hallway of the next space in which we are apart of an extract from Flames by Chantelle Dusette and The Daffodil Cafe. Two young people meet on a dance floor, and as they get to know each other the audience is invite to dance along with them. We boogie into another room that is dressed to be a living room, where we watch play number two I Could Have Danced All Night by Margaret Perry and Primrose Cafe. A couple in their sixties show what life looks like before and after dementia has affected them, and the ways in which they keep their memories alive.

Play three leads us into an allotment for Topsoil by Lucy Grace and Link Age Southwark where two neighbors discuss life after losing their partners and bond over their care for their allotment spaces, their plants and how to carry on.

Play number four is in the main space of the Old Vic Workrooms where we see London Bus by Lily Bevan and healthy Living Club Stockwell.

A group of people get on the bus in South London and make their way to Brighton, because, of course, this is a magic bus. With an empathetic yet to the point bus driver leading the way (Danielle Kassarate) and a Conductor who is happy to take all kinds of fares (Stuart Turner) we set off on this gentle and touching story of the different kinds of people who make up the London community.

How did it make me feel?

This is an incredibly inventive and emotive piece. Every playwright has managed to create completely genuine and relatable characters that are endearing and honest. Through the use of many different mediums (music, video, play, visual) One Hundred Trillion creates an immersive experience that is open and comforting (which is often difficult to achieve with immersive pieces), and allows its audience to breathe in and absorb each story in a completely unique way.

Covering a subject matter with a community of people that is often overlooked, we experience the richness and excitement of their lives and are able to understand the affects that this disease has on so many individuals.

Where Is It Playing?

The Old Vic Workrooms are a brilliant space for such a huge piece of theatre. Each room provides the atmosphere for a brand new world which is not only effective in the immersive experience, but also creates a real sense a magic for the audience.

Anything Else?

This show is a rare experience of immersive theatre that needs to be shared with the world. Absolutely lovely.

Amy x

One Hundred Million is playing at The Old Vic Workrooms until the 11th May 2019

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