“I never thought I’d be old, alone and lonely”

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The Chare, Castle Dene Shopping Centre, PeterleeSaturday 14 September 2019  

On Saturday 14 September, Castle Dene Shopping Centre, Peterlee was transformed by Sharon Bailey’s Home Alone project. The atrium of the shopping centre was made into a photography exhibition and performance area, which saw over 500 people view Home Alone over the course of the day.  The performance focused on an older woman sitting in her living room, alone.  She spoke to the audience about her day-to-day experience, an experience that a growing number of older people in our communities face.  Her living room in Castle Dene Shopping Centre allowed people to view what is normally hidden from sight open to public attention.

The living room installation included photographs made in people’s homes and diary excerpts and featured a specially commissioned monologue, written by Catrina McHugh MBE (Open Clasp).  It was inspired by Sharon Bailey’s diaries and used many of the older people’s own words.  Associate Laura Lindow from Open Clasp directed the piece and the performing actress was Barbara Heslop.

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