Exchanging Dreams is a beautifully constructed work built around the concept of two older friends reflecting on episodes in their lives and their friendship via song, dance and reminiscence.

The show was inspired by Annie’s Mother-in-law, Betty McCarthy, who was living with dementia. Her mood would completely change from distressed to elated when she sang and danced to her favourite songs and shared stories of ‘the old days’.

Jacqui and Annie decided that they wanted to ‘spread a little joy’ to other people living with dementia and so the idea to create a musical play built on reminiscence, was born.

What is it?

Exchanging Dreams is an interactive immersive musical show exploring the relationship of two friends from their childhood to older age.

It includes drama, dance and music as well as film and familiar artefacts to stimulate the senses and provoke reminiscence and joy.

It can be accompanied with a reminiscence workshop, using objects, music and film to stimulate memories.

The play was created with the input of over 45 older people who shared their stories and favourite songs through a series of arts and reminiscence sessions.

Who is it for?

Exchanging Dreams was created for older people, focusing on those living with dementias and elders from Caribbean communities.

Where can it be presented?

Exchanging Dreams and its accompanying workshop, can be performed in residential homes, luncheon clubs, day centres, community halls or small theatres.

Aims for the show

  • To improve quality of life for older people through an accessible, relatable, thought provoking and entertaining show.
  • To improve relationships for older people and ignite family and peer connections through a shared positive experience
  • To promote diversity.
  • To spread joy and improve mood for people living with dementia.

How many people are in the performance?

There are 4 people involved in the show, two performers and two live musicians.

How much does it cost?

Thanks to the Arts Council England, ‘Exchanging Dreams’ is available at a largely subsidised, affordable price.

Please contact us to discuss pricing.

How long is the performance?

Exchanging Dreams the show lasts approximately  60 minutes.

Timings can be slightly amended to fit the needs of your group.

There is an optional reminiscence based workshop for 45-60 mins that accompanies the show.

How long does it take to set up?

We will need an hour to set up. 

We are happy to work around your schedules.

What type of space do you need?

In order to provide the best performance we will need a minimum of 12ft x12 ft (3.5m x 3.5m) of space to perform in. 

If your space is smaller please contact us and we will arrange a visit to see if we can accommodate.

"You got it perfect… what kind of memory you got….."

- Older Participant

Participant Quotes

'It brought back memories.’
Older Participant

‘It brought a tear to my eye.’

Older Participant

‘I loved the nurses; I was a nurse.’

Older Participant

‘They gave me wonderful memories of my childhood in Jamaica.’ 

Older Participant

‘I got a jaw ache from smiling all the time.’

Older Participant

‘You made my day in my winter years.’ 

Older Participant

‘I was crying, but left feeling so happy. Every song had a memory for me and it made me so emotional and I loved how you involved all of us. – thank-you so much.’ 

Older Participant

Volunteers, Carers and Staff observations of audience members

‘The residents reacted so positively to the images and objects.’ 

Staff member

‘She was really upset this morning, but after your show she was as happy as anything.’

Staff member

‘My client is completely non-verbal now, but she sang along to all your songs.’


‘The residents were all dancing, either in their seats, or those who could get up were dancing with the performers and volunteers.’

Staff member

‘Absolutely wonderful and touching, it reminded me of my mother, I felt so emotional.’


This project is supported by

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