Cake and Cabaret is a variety show for the elderly, touring the Parish Halls. These cabaret themed events offer elderly parishioners the opportunity to have fun and socialise in a welcoming environment while enjoying professionally produced entertainment.
The main objectives of Cake and Cabaret are to make high quality art and entertainment accessible to older parishioners, to make use of under-utlised parish hall spaces and to foster a sense of community in each parish. We hope to make each event feel like a special occasion, providing guests with a memorable musical spectacle, an opportunity to get dressed up and the chance to experience entertainment of a calibre that might not otherwise be available to them.
Due to COVID, we had no choice but to postpone Cake and Cabaret due to current guidelines and regulations. Until it is safe for Cake and Cabaret to continue once more, we have been working on adapting the format so that older parishioners still have access to high quality entertainment, at a time when isolation and loneliness is more present than ever before.
We aim to deliver a high-quality DVD of entertainment free of charge to elderly islanders living independently, using distribution channels including Age Concern, Parish halls and the excellent Call & Check service.
The DVD will feature performances of nostalgic songs and familiar pieces of poetry that showcase Jersey’s beautiful scenery and fantastically talented islanders. It will include a selection of tracks from the ‘Optimistic Voices’ interspersed with poems performed by young performing arts students, including instantly recognisable pieces such as On Westminster Bridge, The Lady of Shalott, You’re Old Father William, plus a modern twist on Anything You Can Do, I Can do Better from the ‘Lovers in Lockdown’. In addition to the attractive setting of Government House, the poems will be filmed in beautiful rural Jersey settings such as St Ouen’s bay and Gorey.
Before COVID, we were able to undertake three our Cake and Cabaret events and they were incredibly well received. Our evaluation to date shows that:
98.5% of attendees stated they would attend again
79.7% of attendees made friends with someone they had never met before at the event
39% of attendees felt like there are not enough opportunities for them to attend organised social events in Jersey
Social isolation is a real concern in today’s world. Through producing high quality entertainment we aim to raise the bar of what is on offer for the elderly on the Island, improving people’s lives while encouraging them to forge new connections within their community. Loneliness affects up to one half of our elderly and has a negative impact on their physical and mental health. Jersey’s aging population is growing proportionally larger. Initiatives which address their welfare should be of importance to the whole community. There are a number of barriers which might prevent older people on the Island from being able to engage with the arts and to socialise with others; transport into town or parking may be a challenge, going out in the dark or late at night may feel intimidating. By holding Cake and Cabaret in the afternoon at local venues and recruiting volunteers to help those who struggle with transportation, we hope to remove many of these barriers.
We are partnering with Parish authorities and Age Concern Jersey to ensure that we are reaching those most in need. We aim to directly improve the lives of approximately 1,200 elderly Islanders through Cake and Cabaret.