Dinner and a show
Updated: Sep 29
The Spitz were out on the town on Thursday night, after receiving two separate invitations from funders.
Armourers and Brasiers Gauntlet Trust Subscription Supper
The Spitz received a grant from the Armourers and Brasiers Trust* this year and as a recipient of funding, we were invited, alongside other Small Charity Partners, to a beautiful dinner, drinks, and evening learning about charitable causes.
The Armourers and Brasiers Company was founded in 1322 as the guild overseeing the production of armour and has had its home at the beautiful, Grade II listed Armourers Hall since that time. I had never been somewhere so grand, and after speaking with one member, will always remember to:
“Look up and around as you walk the streets of London.
There are so many treasures in this city
which we miss with our busy lifestyles.”
During the drinks reception, I spoke with other Small Charity Partners and company members who were interested in the work of The Spitz. It was especially interesting to meet those from similar organisations, such as representatives of Changing Tunes, who use the power of live music to help people lead crime-free lives.
I was seated at the Master’s table for dinner, among “Venerables” who helped me to navigate my way around the numerous different knives, forks, plates and glasses for the different courses as we enjoyed a delicious meal while discussing the work of the various charities in attendance.
* The Armourers and Brasiers Company is one of the 111 Livery companies dating back many hundreds of years in the City of London and which form an important and fascinating part of the history of the city. Those working in the same craft would often live and work near each other, grouping together to regulate competition within their trade and maintain high standards.
In Other Words
Across town, Jane Glitre and Thom Rowlands (Spitz Founding Director and General Manager) attended a performance of Matthew Seager's play In Other Words at the Arcola Theatre in Dalston. The play explores the relationship between a married couple as one of them develops Alzheimer's and the part music plays in their relationship. The play was supported by the Utley Foundation who have been strong supporters of and advocates for The Spitz over recent years.
After the performance, there was a Q&A with the two-person cast (including Matthew Seager, who plays the male lead role, Arthur) and Sarah Metcalfe (managing director of the Utley Foundation). This was followed by an opportunity to meet and chat with other invitees, including representatives other music charities, music therapists, care home managers, film makers and funders.
Without doing any spoilers, we can say that within the narrative of the story, Frank Sinatra's Fly Me To The Moon is a constant refrain. It was the first song that the couple danced to and became 'their song' throughout their relationship. As Arthur's condition worsens, this song is able to calm him when he becomes confused or agitated.
It felt to us that the implication was that anyone who develops forms of dementia just needs to find their 'magic' song, that will bring them back to themselves. While this a comforting premise, it has not been our experience. We have found that if a care home resident does have a meaningful or favourite song, this may bring a smile or some tears one day but may produce no discernible reaction the next. We also find that those with dementia can retain their curiosity and we enjoy introducing them to new styles of music or songs they may not have ever known. Our approach seeks to keep stimulating and challenging beneficiaries with as wide a range of music as possible.
In Other Words is heartwarming and heartbreaking in equal measure with superb performances from Seager and his on-stage partner, played by Leanne Harvey. The play runs until 30th September so grab your tickets now!