MEMORY LANE was written by Clare Summerskill and Pam Schweitzer and toured the Greater London area from March to May 2003. This was a show with wide appeal, depicting a time when everyone knew everyone else’s business, when families were often large, living space was tight when work depended on the weather and money had to go a long way.
MEMORY LANE was a play based on interviews with older people who had grown up in Blackheath Village in south east London, the home of the Reminiscence Centre. Local people were invited to bring in photos and stories which were recorded on computer and on tape. In a memorable series of meetings, a group of older people who had all grown up in Collins Street, a small street by the railway line in the village, were brought together by the project to share memories together. Some had not met one another for over 50 years and they thoroughly enjoyed getting together again and triggering one another’s memories, spontaneously remembering small incidents and big events in their lives.
Being so near the Reminiscence Centre, they could keep in touch with the progress of the theatre production based on their memories, attend rehearsals and support the actors, in some cases making strong relationships with the actors who would ‘perform’ them. Three of the contributors also visited the local primary school situated in the street where they grew up, to share stories with the children about their own childhood. The children took these stories and made a play from them which was later performed in a local reminiscence festival in Blackheath Halls.
To download a copy of the full play text please follow the link below.