Based on real-life stories gathered from our successful Suitcase Stories project in partnership with Museums Worcestershire, Navigating Margaret, is an exciting theatre production about a Worcestershire woman’s journey through the diagnosis of dementia. The script was developed as an R and D through the first lockdown with funding from Arts Council England and now we are turning it in to a play!

The production will be performed at Malvern Cube in Worcestershire for 3 shows ONLY, Friday 24 7PM, Saturday 25 March 2PM (relaxed performance) and 7PM 2023. Written and directed by Helen Tennison, an International Director, the show will beautifully bring to the stage the rich stories collected from Worcestershire residents, living with dementia.

What’s really exciting is that we are involving local residents in the production. The cast will be a mix of 3 professional actors, 4 emerging actors and 12 local people, including children and young people and older adults as well as a dementia choir being recorded.

Navigating Margaret is a magical journey about living with dementia. Set in Worcester, it is inspired by true-life stories, gathered from across Worcestershire through the ground breaking Suitcase Stories project.

Once a quick-witted female pilot, Margaret is getting increasingly forgetful and erratic, so her son Graham encourages her to get a diagnosis. A familiar story perhaps, but Margaret’s ensuing journey through stages of dementia is anything but pedestrian. The action flashes back and forth between her family struggling to cope with her gradual changes and the tangled memories of her earlier life. Her 1950’s childhood in her family’s hairdressers, working at the carpet factory, courting Charlie at tea dances, and becoming one of the first airwomen in Worcestershire.

Directed and written by international director Helen Tennison, the play is a tale of sadness, love, hope, and a celebration of Worcestershire’s rich history, through the eyes of an extraordinary, everyday woman. The cast is a mix of professional and community actors from the local area and features a recorded choir of people living with dementia.

There will be a Q&A session after each show to discuss the play, with Age UK Herefordshire and Worcestershire and the artistic team.

Watch the short trailer HERE

Watch the film of the theatre show HERE

Watch the trailer for the Navigating Margaret tour 2024 HERE

Audience quotes

“Congratulations to all on such a sensitive, deep, moving, relevant and uplifting, work of art so deftly delivered”

“I think everybody should see Suitcase Stories. People living with dementia ( if you can get them to sit still ! ), carers , carer’s friends and family, even people who have no connection at all to Dementia …. this would really help them to understand….even though everybody’s dementia is different , many of the themes explored unite us”

“The play stands as a great story to tell in its own right – brilliantly directed, casted and acted; an utterly watchable, well-written, informative, emotional and marvellously creative show! That it is about living with dementia feels like a bonus”

Nationally 1 in 14 people over the age of 65 are living with dementia now. The Malvern Hills district in particular, has an increasingly large older population, of which many will sadly have dementia. We’re confident this play will help raise much needed awareness about this condition, encouraging understanding and acceptance as well as being an amazing production.



After training at Rose Bruford’s Drama School Illona worked in repertory theatre for several years. She later formed her own company, writing and commissioning plays. In London she has acted at The Arcola, Lyric Hammersmith, Playhouse Theatre, Southwark Playhouse, Young Vic, National and RSC Theatre Companies. She recently worked with the Dot Collective, Bedouin Shakespeare, Punch Drunk, SLG Co. and Swamp Motel playing many glorious parts. Television work includes series Within These Walls, Shadow of the Noose, The Flockton Flyer, The Bill and several plays for Today. With her one woman plays she has toured many parts of the world.


Morgan trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.
Theatre: The Merchant of Venice (RSCThe 101 Dalmatians (Birmingham Rep) Horrible Histories: Barmy Britain Part 5! (Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue) Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth, The Tempest (Stafford Castle), The Importance of being Earnest, The Secret Adversary, Peter Pan, Treasure Island, Gulliver’s Travels, Arabian Nights, Pinocchio, The Snow Queen (Watermill TheatrePartners In Crime (Queen’s Theatre, HornchurchLarisa And The Merchants (Arcola TheatreBleak HouseKing Lear, As You Like It, Henry V (Creation TheatreMacbethMerry Wives Of Windsor, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, Comedy Of Errors, Much Ado About Nothing, Henry V (Guildford Shakespeare CompanyThe Sound of Music (Kilworth HouseDick Turpin’s Last Ride (Bury St. Edmunds Theatre RoyalLarkrise To Candleford (New PerspectivesDon Quixote (Croydon WarehouseTwelfth Night, George’s Marvellous Medicine (Birmingham Stage CompanyJames And The Giant Peach (Northampton Theatre Royal) Pinocchio (Polka TheatreBeauty and the Beast, Robin Hood (Little Wolf EntertainmentMuch Ado About Nothing, Othello, Hamlet (Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory).

Film and Television: Casualty (BBCCoronation Street (ITVDoctors (BBCThen Voyager (Filmro ProductionsThe Story Of George Muller (CTABeau Brummel (BBC).


Karen graduated in 2020 with a first class honours degree in Drama from The University of Gloucestershire.  She has played a diverse range of roles from Shakespeare to modern day plays in theatres in Bath and Bristol. Her theatre credits include : Paulina in The Winter’s Tale, Boxer in Animal Farm, Helen in Road and Molly Beak in The Madam. Most recently she played Widow Twankey in Aladdin. Karen also works as a therapeutic actor for Barnados helping prospective adoptees understand communication with children who have experienced trauma.


Charlotte graduated from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in 2020 as one of the BBC Radio Drama Carleton Hobbs Winners. Credits include: Theatre: Earthquakes In London (Bristol Old Vic Studio) The Tempest (Nottingham Playhouse) A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Nottingham Playhouse) The Great Gatsby: A LIVE Radio Play (Blue Orange Theatre) Screen: The Jacket (BBC Arts) & Radio: Peking Noir (Radio 3), Life Is A Radio In The Dark (Radio 3), Gudrun (Radio 4), Franklin (Radio 4), The Devils (Radio 4), London Particular (Radio 4) & Richard II (Shakespeare@, New York)


Maya (They/Them) is an emerging multidisciplinary performer who graduated with a First Class degree in BA Drama and Theatre Arts (University of Birmingham) in July 2022.Their early professional credits include Dancer/Dance Artist (Curfew, Calico Theatre, 2022) and Role-Play Actor (Brave Conversations Training, The Queen’s Nursing Institute, 2022). They have been training in Hip Hop dance with award-winning company Boy Blue Entertainment since September 2022. Maya is thrilled to be working on Navigating Margaret – a play created with local communities, containing subject matter close to their family.


Will is an up-and-coming emerging actor based in the Midlands. He recently graduated from the University of Worcester with a 1st Class Honours in (BA) Theatre, Acting, and Performance. He is also a strong contemporary dancer, choreographer and physical theatre performer. Previous credits include:
TV: (BBC) Poldark, (ITV) Doc Martin and acclaimed German Television programme (FFP New Media) Rosemunde Pilcher Collections.
Theatre: (Wildworks) I Am Kevin, (Cube Theatre) The Crucible.


Eliza is an up and coming versatile talent with experience in both Theatre and Film. Having graduated with a 1st Class Honours in Theatre, Acting and Performance, from the University of Worcester, she is also an associate artist of Strange Futures.
Previous credits include:
Theatre: Strange Futures – ‘The Tree Rings’, Strange Futures – ‘The Last Restaurant’, PW Productions – ‘An Inspector Calls’ – Milton Keynes Theatre
Short Film: T A P E Collective Ltd ‘Essex Girls’

Child Margaret and her siblings will be played by local children and young people and Margaret’s mum and Aunts will be played by local adult community actors.

Assistant Director- Vivi Bayliss

Vivi Bayliss is a freelance theatre-maker from the Midlands, specialising in inter-disciplinary performance. Her experience covers musical theatre, opera and devising, as well as an extensive background in providing theatre for young people at companies including Chipping Norton Theatre and Millfield School. Directing credits include A Ton of Feathers for NSDFA Midsummer Night’s Dream and Love and Information for Millfield School and Tubes and Tribulations for The Hope Theatre. Assisting credits include The Things You Do For Love  for National Opera StudioDon Giovanni and L’coronazione di Poppaea for Saluzzo Opera Academy.


Design- Zahra Mansouri

Zahra Mansouri graduated in Theatre Design for Performance at Central Saint Martins, she also trained as a competitive Ballroom Dancer this experience would shape her practice with work rooted in understanding movement and interaction with space. At ease designing large and small scale projects and working abroad Zahra has a wealth of experience spanning genres with a variety of skills that gives each project its own unique personality. During her early years Zahra was Associate designer at Fourth Monkey TC. Over 10 years of collaborating on rep seasons she created 75 productions some of which transferred. This undertaking of managing departments, interacting with large companies of training performers and producing multiple shows with fast turnovers at such a young was a unique experience that would ground and refine her practise.

Sound design- Matt Eaton

Lighting design- Dan Parry


Adults £15 Children £8 and unemployed, low income and disabled concessions available £5

Running time approximately 2hrs with interval. Suitable for anyone aged 8 years plus. Relaxed performance 24 March 2pm. All shows BSL interpreted. If you need to be seated near to the interpreter please let us know

Venue address Malvern Cube, Albert Road North, Malvern, WR14 2YF. Car park and on road parking available.

PLEASE NOTE the first scene is being performed outside on the Malvern Cubes’ grounds on the grass. Please bring suitable footwear for grass. There maybe some mud especially if it has been raining.

We want to thank the many people and organisations that have helped to fund and support this play.





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