Learning the rules of Chinese whispers

Kenneth B. McAlpine (Composer), Sandy Thomson, Jan Natanson

Research output: Non-textual formComposition


The past has always been as real to Agnes as her daily routine but as she develops dementia her family must look itself in the eye as they accept the new roles it brings them with varying degrees of success and good grace. Taking liberties and poking fun, they cook, clean and everything else that passes for love, as the space between fact and opinion gets worn away to nothing. Voices…smells…music…dressing up and going out, this colourful performance sweeps between the public and hidden spaces on the streets of St. Andrews, rattling its jewellery with pawky good humour at the stories that hide in the corners. Learning the Rules of Chinese Whispers stimulates all the senses, using everything from cakes to Chanel No.5. The play explores love, sex and family relationships in a visceral and immediate production that leaves audience breathless, touched, troubled and writhing with the embarrassment of recognition. Written by Jan Natanson and directed by Sandy Thomson, the play asks how we remember what we remember as Alex Attwood and Kenny McAlpine’s music weave through soundscapes that use recordings of real voices describing memories of families, food, homes and holidays throughout a stimulating and evocative performance that moves in and out buildings and public streets.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherPoorboy Theatre Company
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2004


  • Site-specific
  • Promenade
  • Theatre
  • Soundtrack


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