Dementia Friendly Work

We are proud to be dementia friendly.

Find out what’s on offer for people living with dementia, their family and friends as well as more about the background to our dementia friendly work.

We believe that everyone should be able to be creative and enjoy the arts for as long as they want to.

We regularly host dementia-friendly performances, free workshops, and creative activities with a team of fabulous artists and musicians.

Our welcoming, safe, and comfortable environment always puts people living with dementia centre stage. You will find opportunities to meet new people, try new things, and most importantly, have fun!

For anyone wishing to have a greater say in how we develop our activities with our dementia-friendly community, we host an active focus group and we are always looking for new members!

Sign up to our mailing list to be the first to hear about our Dementia Friendly work, events, and more.

Dementia Friendly Performances

Throughout the year, we play host to an array of Relaxed and Dementia-friendly performances.

Whether in the main theatre or in one of our spacious rooms at Festival Theatre, we make sure all dementia-friendly performances are accessible and produced with dementia-friendly best practice in mind. See our programme online or pick up a copy of the latest Capital Theatres brochure to view our latest offerings.

Dementia Friendly Events

Here are all the different dementia-friendly events you can enjoy. Tickets are free but spaces are limited, so please book in advance through the links provided below.


Tea and ‘Jam'

Join our celebration of music-making on the last Friday of the month. Bring along your favourite instrument. Whether it be your flute, guitar, drumsticks, or kazoo, we want to make music with you! Professional musician, Gus Harrower, will kick off the jam session but then it’s very much over to you. We provide the refreshments, you create the music and together we enjoy friendship, a good sing-a-long and a dance or two!

“Dad played his trombone which is the first time he's picked that up in decades! [He] continued to talk about the session the next day, whereas he doesn't usually remember events in the short term.”
Catherine Callinan

More information and tickets


Brew and Blether

Grab a cuppa and have a chat with us and our lovely dementia-friendly community on the last Wednesday of the month.

Brew & Blether is a great opportunity to connect, share stories and meet some friendly faces. Over refreshments, we’ll see where the conversation takes us as well as offering a wee 20 minutes of dementia-friendly entertainment, be it music, spoken word, storytelling… Brew & Blether is also an ideal time to hear about our other dementia-friendly activities and find out how you can get involved yourself if you like the sound of it.

“Making and keeping links with other interested parties like this will ensure an ever-growing community. You certainly have our thanks!”
Pat and Bill Ellis

More information and tickets


Songwriting Sprint

Ever fancied writing a song? Then join us on the second Monday of the month to get your creative juices flowing with our in-house musician, Gus Harrower.

Each month, Gus presents a theme to provide inspiration for creating lyrics to accompany the melody of a well-known tune. In a mere 45 minutes, you will have co-written an original song which will then be performed by Edinburgh’s dementia-inclusive Forget Me Notes choir at our recurring Together In Song concerts.

More Information and tickets


Capital Focus

When it comes to dementia best practice, we believe our friends from within the dementia community know best.

Do you have a smart idea for an activity or a suggestion on how we can make our venues more dementia-friendly? Then this is the forum for you. Our 2022 focus groups were a great success with a growing number of members. Please come along, join the conversation, and help shape our future.

Tea, coffee, and biscuits provided. Travel costs can be reimbursed.

More information and tickets


All the World's A Stage - The Dementia Friendly Podcast

Join us on the airwaves for a backstage rollercoaster through Capital Theatres.

Presented by journalist Willy Gilder, now living with dementia, each podcast showcases a different interest from a member of the dementia-friendly community alongside the various different departments of Capital Theatres, the charity that manages the Festival Theatre, King’s Theatre, and The Studio. Whether your interest lies in spotlights or scriptwriting, come listen to All The World’s A Stage where everyone has a part to play.

This podcast is kindly supported by Age Scotland.

Episode 1 - Music

Episode 2 - Stories

Episode 3 - Access

Episode 4 - Heritage

Episode 5 - Community Connections

Episode 6 - Sir Ian Rankin


Want to know what’s going on in the wider dementia community? If so, then our DementiArts magazine is for you!

As well as listing every dementia-friendly event in Edinburgh & the Lothians for the coming quarter, DementiArts is chock full of reviews, stories, creative work, and features, all supplied by the dementia community. This publication is kindly supported by Age Scotland.

Download the most recent issues below, or email if you wish to receive a hard copy by post. We also have Braille, large print, and audio editions if these would be more suitable.

DementiaArts Autumn 2023 SQ (1).png

Spring 2024


Summer 2024

We are immensely proud of our Dementia-friendly community

In 2015, staff at the Festival and King’s Theatres noticed that people who had been avid friends and fans of the theatres for many years had stopped attending performances and events. When we contacted them to say hello, we discovered that their lives had changed because of a dementia diagnosis and many no longer felt confident to visit us.

We immediately asked ourselves, “what can we do as an organisation to enable people living with dementia to continue seeing performances and remain active members of the theatre community?”

That same year, we applied for a three-year grant from the Life Changes Trust so we could create and nurture a dementia-friendly community across our venues. Thanks to the support of Life Changes Trust, Capital Theatres’ was able to undertake an extensive dementia-friendly building audit of the Festival Theatre and The Studio to make it more welcoming; host dementia awareness sessions for all staff and support training for creative artists. This then allowed us to create an extensive and popular programme of dementia-friendly performances and events in our venues and community settings. We have collaborated with multiple stakeholders and partners to deliver this vitally important work for people living with dementia, and their carers.

Over the course of those first three years, we programmed over 380 events and performances with over 7,830 participations.

Thanks to the success of our programme, the Life Changes Trust continued to fund our dementia-friendly community for a further 2 years alongside the Robertson Trust and other funders who prefer to remain anonymous. This enabled us to embark on the next chapter of developing opportunities for people living with dementia to access the performing arts as audience members, to participate in the performing arts activities, and to help shape other opportunities through a volunteer-led programme & focus group.

Since then we are enormously grateful to have received support from other funders such as the Paul and Nick Harvey Fund, About Dementia and Age Scotland to develop and enhance our participant-led creative projects.

If you would like to support any of our dementia-friendly projects or make a general donation via the donation link below.

Support our work

Donate today and support our Dementia Friendly work