WordPress RSS Flickr

Regional Tour 2012

Swags & Tails

Great feedback from our first National Conference

‘I will take away several actions to implement 300 miles south – the ripples will continue from today’ Read some of the brilliant feedback we're received from our very first conference supporting older LGBT people in care settings...

Report featuring our work used as blueprint for Government Policy

The Northern Rock Foundation's report into dementia care in the North East featuring Open Clasp's work will become a blueprint for future Government policy after the Prime Minister.  

Filming for new Swags and Tails scenes

Catrina has been busy writing two new Swags and Tails scenes based on interviews with members of the Bangladeshi community in the West End of Newcastle and with the Travelling community in Middlesbrough.

Generation XX Report Launched

Launched today, the Generation XX Report details our key findings and recommendations and gives a flavour of the project.

Dementia - A Call to Action

Open Clasp took Swags & Tails to the recent NHS conference Dementia: A Call to Action

What Do You Want for Yourself When You're Older?

We asked audience members and workshop participants what they wanted when they were older...

Swags & Tails - What Happens Next

Swags & Tails is not stopping because the tours over, next we'll be taking it to the Dementia Care - Call to Action conference.

Swags & Tails extends its reach...

See what Look North had to say about Swags & Tails, and find out how the issues raised will soon be heard nationally...

"Oscar winning performance from all the cast"

There are only three weeks left of the Swags & Tails tour. Don't miss your chance to see it.

"Very funny, very moving & very real"

"Swags and Tails was unbelievable!! Such powerful stories, raising awareness about Dementia! Thankyou!" Find out what people are saying about Open Clasp's latest tour.

Curtains Needed...

Can you help? Open Clasp are on the look-out for some curtains to help sound proof our rehearsal room at West End Women and Girls Centre for the preview of Swags & Tails.

Book Swags & Tails Now!

Don't miss out on your chance to bring Swags & Tails to your community...

Swags & Tails - Developing a new play...

As the research and development week on Swags & Tails draws to a close we're tired but happy, and can't wait to get the play on tour next year...

Swags & Tails Takes Shape...

We're mid way through our Swags & Tails development week, find out what's happening...

Announcing our New Play...

Artistic Director and Writer Catrina McHugh tells us how the script is developing, and announces the new play's title.

Generation XX Workshop Photo Gallery

A photo gallery of one of the Generation XX drama workshops.

Generation XX Update

As the Generation XX workshops come to an end Artistic Director Catrina McHugh tells us how the project’s going, and what happens next.

Our new Project - Generation XX

Open Clasp's new project is underway.

The Evening Chronicle says Swags & Tails is "at once endearing, hilarious, passionate and tear-jerking. It gives a perfect insight in to the lives of the elderly and fights on their behalf for some much-needed respect." Read the full review.

Councillor Nick Forbes (leader of Newcastle City Council) says "Swags and Tails is a must-see production – it’s about who we are, how we grow old and why life must be lived in all its glory. It made me laugh and cry in equal measure, and judging by the audience heckles and participation it evoked strong memories of Thatcher’s Britain then and now.”

Since April 155 women worked with us to inform Swags & Tails, through Open Clasp's Generation XX project. The women involved live and work in care homes, care for loved ones, use day centres or are housebound. Using drama techniques each group created a character with their own story to tell. Swags & Tails is about the quality, or lack of quality, of care of older people and carers in our society.

The groups who informed Swags & Tails are:

Interface Project, Station Court Care Home (Ashington), Mature Friends (Bridge Women's Education & Support Centre), The Grange Centre, West Denton Day Centre, Team Spirit, Eighton Lodge, Cleveland View Care Home, Carers Centre (Newcastle), Culture & Heritage Group, Age UK North Tyneside, Members of the Home Delivery Service of Newcastle City Libraries, The Anand Women's group, Carers Cultural Adventures group

Many thanks to them and all of the individuals who told their stories.

Sources of Support and Information:

If you've been affected by any of the issues addressed in Swags & Tails you may find the following sites useful:

Image of women dancing is by Martin Godfrey www.martingodfrey.co.uk

Swags & Tails is set on the day Margaret Thatcher dies, against a backdrop of austerity and cuts.

Meet Gloria, her past eroded during years living in dementia units, Mary, the care-worker getting it from all angles and housebound Lillian, locked in her own spare room with only 8 bottles of Sloe Gin for company. Faced with the closure of their day centre will Ellen and Marlene unite and make a last stand?

There’s more to life than a custard cream and a chocolate bourbon.


Image of women dancing by Martin Godfrey www.martingodfrey.co.uk

Swags & Tails has now successfully completed a regional tour reaching over 2,500 people and it won't end there - the play has already been booked for conferences and we will be developing a DVD for use by care providers in their staff training based on the play.

"A brilliant play and well acted. Poignant and moving"

"You have made me laugh and cry in a second!!!! I LOVE it!"

"It can only benefit both families and carers"

"Loved every moment - Brilliantly and beautifully executed. Thank you!"