An inspiring play about Parkinson’s and Parkour is coming to a theatre near you
Author: Geoffrey ChangPublished: 8 September 2016
Prep: Cook: Serves:
A new thought-provoking play that explores the friendship between a free-running teenager and a woman with early-onset Parkinson’s is going on a nationwide tour
After three sell-out shows in cities across the UK and rave reviews, a new Parkinson’s play called Kinetics is taking to the road for a run of 13 performances throughout September and October.
Based on a true story, the inspiring theatre piece explores the unlikely friendship between a teenage boy who is devoted to free running (Parkour) – the extreme sport that involves navigating obstacles without equipment – and a middle-aged woman with early-onset Parkinson’s disease.
But what can they possibly have in common? Despite living completely opposing lives, a chance encounter leads the two protagonists to realise the answer: they share the desire to move.
Featuring projected imagery and electrifying live Parkour, the show raises awareness of Parkinson’s with wit, while challenging perceptions and giving a realistic insight into the daily struggles that come with living with the condition.
Written by actor and drama teacher, Sue Wylie, the play recounts her personal experience of living with Parkinson’s. Sue, who performs the lead role, explains: “Five years ago shortly after my 50th birthday I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. After the initial shock I knew I wanted to write about it. I was teaching drama at the time and discovered that a bright but rebellious 16-year-old student in my tutor group was free running on the school roof.
“I was intrigued by the risks he took in his addiction to this extreme sport. How interesting to contrast that with a middle-aged woman whose world of movement is slowly being eroded. What if their paths should accidentally cross and a friendship form? I knew there was a story in there and so Kinetics was born.”
Sue Wylie (left) playing lead character Rose
Through the juxtaposition of the characters the sharp script, full of emotion and humour, unexpectedly draws parallels between two lives that couldn’t seem more opposite. The two learn more important life lessons from one another than they ever could have imagined.
Following the initial success of sold out shows last year, Kinetics received funding from the Arts Council, allowing them to organise the upcoming Autumn 2016 tour. Parkinson’s UK have officially endorsed the play with CEO Steve Ford saying: “Sue’s play offers an inspiring story to which we can all relate.”
Greek-inspired courgette and aubergine vegetarian moussaka
This vegetarian moussaka uses tofu or seitan as meat replacements
4 weeks ago
Plant-based compounds could treat chronic pain in Parkinson’s, study finds
A six-year study has found that chronic pain in people with Parkinson’s is linked to a gene involved with how the brain responds to cannabis compounds. The investigation examined why some people with the condition experience persistent pain – and the impact it has on their work, daily life and social relationships. Conducted by researchers at Manchester’s Salford Royal Foundation Trust, UK, and funded by Parkinson’s UK, it is the largest study to investigate chronic pain in people with Parkinson’s. Dr Monty Silverdale, consultant neurologist at Greater Manchester Centre, said: “This study is significant because it shows the important role of genetics in chronic pain in Parkinson’s. “Our findings suggest that cannabis-based compounds may be worth investigating as a treatment for pain in Parkinson’s.”
Could playing table tennis help reduce Parkinson’s symptoms?
Researchers at Fukuoka University, Japan, have found that playing table tennis may help alleviate motor symptoms in Parkinson’s. As part of the study, 12 people with Parkinson’s with an average age of 73 played a five-hour session of table tennis every week for a period of six months. The sessions were developed specifically for people with the condition by experienced table tennis players from the university’s department of sports science. The participants were evaluated after three months and at the end of the study. At both evaluations, participants had reduced symptoms – showing improvement in speech, handwriting, walking and hand tremors. Two participants reported side-effects of backache and falling. Study author Ken-ichi Inoue, MD, of Fukuoka University said: “While this study is small, the results are encouraging because they show ping pong, a relatively inexpensive form of therapy, may improve some symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. A much larger study is…
‘Dopamine-boosting’ BT13 molecule could be used to slow Parkinson’s
Researchers have discovered that a molecule called BT13 could have potential to treat Parkinson’s. The study, conducted by scientists from the University of Helsinki, Finland, found that mice injected with the BT13 molecule had an increase in dopamine levels in the brain. Their findings also suggested that the molecule could lead to a new drug treatment to protect the brain cells that produce dopamine. Dopamine helps coordinate movement, but people with Parkinson’s have normally lost between 70 and 80% of the brain cells that produce the neurotransmitter when they are diagnosed with the condition. Professor David Dexter, Deputy Director of Research at Parkinson’s UK – which co-funded the study – said: “People with Parkinson’s desperately need a new treatment that can stop the condition in its tracks, instead of just masking the symptoms. “More research is needed to turn BT13 into a treatment to be tested in clinical trials, to…