The titanic 2020, covid-19
The Titanic 2020: from left, Janice Miller, Anne Murn, Jan Patrick, Liz Drysdale, and Megan Flynn.

Six senior Canberra women have come together to share older Canberrans’ experience of the impacts of COVID-19 through the Pandemic Player’s presentation of The Titanic 2020.

The free show, which will be held at Hughes Community Hall on Wednesday 19 May at 6.30pm, is a collaboration by the Council on the Ageing (COTA) ACT, and Rebus Theatre – a not-for-profit mixed abilities theatre company which works with Canberrans who often don’t feel heard.

Director and producer of The Titanic 2020, Ali Clinch, said the theatre company worked together with the six women to create the show’s storyline by interviewing senior and vulnerable Canberrans.

“We’ve got stories from people in nursing homes, we’ve got stories from Canberra people who are stuck overseas. It’s all from the senior’s perspective of COVID and the lockdown,” Ali said.

Although the 45-minute show focuses on a sombre topic, be prepared to laugh.

“They (the audience) will laugh. They’re going to hopefully be seen, that feeling of that shared experience, looking at the stacked trauma that Canberrans have gone through, with the bushfires through to COVID-19,” Ali said.

“There’s a lot of comedy, and I think they might find a few surprises in there as well.”

COTA ACT chief executive officer Jenny Mobbs said their phones have “rang hot” since they reopened, after only being closed for six weeks.

“People rang just to hear a voice at the other end of the phone, and it hasn’t stopped,” Jenny said.

She said an elderly woman who was home alone for three months called COTA and asked when she will be allowed to go outside again.

“That’s really concerning when somebody is alone. Usually, women are alone in the home. We really had to work hard to get people out again into the community,” Jenny said.

She said since COVID-19 began, the whole family dynamic has changed. Previously, family members would pick up their elderly parents to do groceries together, whereas now a food delivery truck is being organised.

“So, there’s no social contact, apart from being on the phone. The patterns stuck, which is rather unfortunate.”

Jenny suggests that Canberrans can look out for each other by becoming familiar with who lives on your street.

“So, just knowing people in your own street, making sure that you say hello, offering to put the bin out. Just being a good citizen, that’s important,” she said.

The Pandemic Player’s presentation of The Titanic 2020 is funded by the ACT Government’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Innovation Grants program.

To book your free tickets to The Titanic 2020, visit events.humanitix

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