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Navigating the Twilight  by Sophie Sparham

Just one of nine pieces combined to form monolog 3, our new selection of fresh writing from within the Chickenshed community. Showing at Chickenshed from 11 to 22 February.

‘Navigating the Twilight’ is a monologue that depicts the struggle of the mind during dementia. It tells the story of an elderly woman with dementia speaking to her daughter about the day that she gave birth to her in the hospital. The same text is then repeated three more times, but with missing words to give the monologue a different meaning. The monologue is no longer about the woman’s experience of giving birth, but of her later experience in hospital, dealing with dementia.

The monologue explores the withdrawal of language using a technique called blackout poetry, which takes a piece of text and ‘blacks out’ lines or phrases to give the remaining words a new meaning.The piece was commissioned by Chickenshed for their Navigating the Twilight project with The Royal Free. 

Sophie Sparham is a writer and spoken word artist from Derby. Her debut poetry collection ‘Please Mind the Gap’ features a foreword from Benjamin Zephaniah. Sophie has written poetry commissions for Writing East Midlands, BBC Radio 4, The V&A and The People’s History Museum. Sophie gave a Ted X Talk at the University of Kent about how spoken word can improve our cultural awareness.

Sophie won one of the two Writing East Midlands 2019 mentorship schemes and is currently working with her mentor, Helen Mort, on her new collection. In October she received a DYCP arts council grant to allow her time to write. ‘Navigating the Twilight’ will feature in the collection.

Performed by Ingrid Cannon | Directed by Peter Dowse