4:02pm Tuesday 3rd September 2013
A NEW play by Blackwood poet Patrick Jones explores in a humorous way how people, including his mother, have faced the death of themselves or loved ones.
Mr Jones based Dandelion on his experiences as writer in residency for St David’s Foundation Hospice Care. He spent time each week with people being looked after in Pontypool and Ystrad Mynach, many of whom had terminal illnesses.
He listened to their stories, wrote and shared poems, and said: “The play came into being as I thought about how the fantastic people I had met faced death, dealt with mortality and how I wanted to celebrate life.”
While the script has come from his interactions with people from all over Gwent, the title Dandelion comes from a lot closer to home- the loss of his grandmother.
It followed a talk he had with my mother Irene, who lost her mother to cancer in August when she was just 58. This happened just as dandelions were releasing their spores to the summer breeze.
Though each year this reminds her of the sadness it is also as if her mother is still there.
Mr Jones- whose brother is Manic Street Preacher bassist Nicky Wire- added: “I thought it was a beautiful, healing concept and revealed how we cope with the passing of loved ones. I just wanted to write a moving, funny, heroic portrait of brave people.”
The play is set in a hospice with the characters based on the people he has met and while many have now died, he said: “Like the dandelion spores, maybe they’re still around us, only having morphed into something else”.
It will tour Wales, starting at the Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, where it will run from Wednesday, September 11 to Saturday, September 14.
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