+3 Interview: Over the Garden Fence

“We love to perform in both theatrical and non-theatrical settings and hope to continue to do so, the Edinburgh Fringe is amazing platform for us to reach new audiences.”

WHO: Hayley Riley, Co-writer/perfomer

WHAT: “Over the Garden Fence follows the story of Annabelle and her gran Dolly. Annabelle and the audience are taken on a nostalgic journey through Gran’s life, sharing memories of happiness, sorrow and joy. It is a fast-paced, uplifting and comical exploration into family, life and relationships. The stories within the play are based on personal experiences. The play engages audiences in the discussion of not only dementia, but family life as well: including the ups and downs, the highs and lows and everything in-between.”

WHERE: Greenside @ Infirmary Street (Venue 236)

WHEN: 19:45 (55 min)

MORE: Click Here!

Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

Yes we are Edinburgh Fringe Festival novices, this is our very first time and we still have so much to do, hand out fliers, plan our route, and master setting up and down in under five minutes, not an easy feat when you have two fences, a suitcase, a rug, a china tea set, 14 books, numerous photographs, Christmas crackers, a turkey tray, various hats and scarfs, three pairs of glasses and a banana!

Tell us about your show.

A runaway turkey, gossiping neighbours, uncovered memories. A fast-paced, uplifting and emotional roller-coaster ride on the topic of dementia. The play follows Annabelle and her Grandmother Dolly on a beautiful nostalgic journey through Grans past, her treasured memories re-discovered and shared. ‘Over the Garden Fence’ co-written and performed by Hayley and Louise of Haylo Theatre is about life, family and love. Join these two women who will have you laughing one minute and crying the next.

It’s January 2013. Louise picks Hayley up from the station; a routine played out daily. It’s raining. A girl walks past them. Her green coat and the squeaky window wipers spark a conversation; a conversation about days gone by and a memory we thought we had forgotten; a memory insignificant to the girl in the green coat and the other wet commuters passing by, but in that car in that moment, that memory opened up a new chapter of our lives. We were going to find a way to share our memories and create stories not easily forgotten. Enter Haylo Theatre.

We wanted to create theatre that others would watch and see something they recognise of themselves or their own lives. Our characters and their stories in ‘Over the Garden Fence’ are an amalgamation of our own grandparents and some of their stories. With ‘Over the Garden Fence’ we wanted to help combat the stigma some people still feel by giving dementia a human face.

– Where have we been and where are we going?

We have been touring Over the Garden Fence for around three years. We have performed for various organisations, including:

Age UK, The Christie, Alzheimer’s Society, Dementia Action Alliance, E.D.U.C.A.T.E., Francis House, St Augustinian Care and Hospice UK, Dementia Congress, Worcestershire Palliative Care Conference, Hospice Enabled Dementia Care conference and the International Alzheimer’s Conference, Budapest.

We love to perform in both theatrical and non-theatrical settings and hope to continue to do so, the Edinburgh Fringe is amazing platform for us to reach new audiences.

What should your audience see at the festivals after they’ve seen your show?

Go and see Skimstone Arts The Ties that Bind a combination of performance, original sound and potent visuals. It was commissioned by Edinburgh University and based on their latest research along with stories collected from people living with dementia. This show challenges our perceptions of dementia, which is something we hugely support and are passionate about!