A mum with dementia was forced to leave Mamma Mia! because audiences complained about her joining in – so now a cinema is putting on a showing just for her.
Premature dementia sufferer Shirley Lewis, 68, went to see the hit Meryl Streep film as a birthday treat with daughter Rhiannon.
When the classic ABBA hits started to kick in, excited Shirley started to proudly sing and shout along with the lyrics she remembered from her younger days.
But other audience members began ‘huffing, puffing and tutting’ behind her.
Daughter Rhiannon says she ‘felt obliged’ to take her mum out of the Vue cinema in Cwmbran, South Wales, less than half way through.Victims of salmonella poisoning from Chinese restaurant awarded £275,000 payout
Rhiannon, 40, said: ‘She loves Mamma Mia – it is her favourite. It is familiar to her and she loved it.
‘She can’t really sing anymore but she shouts and calls out.
‘A lady behind us made me feel really uncomfortable about that – she was moving around and huffing.
‘My mum was really sad. She didn’t want to leave the cinema.
‘She yelled ‘no’ when we tried to get her out of her seat and she fought every step on the staircase.
‘To people who didn’t know, they must have thought my mum had a few beers before and was drunk.
‘But she wasn’t. It was just the effects of early onset dementia.Student sleeps for up to a week straight after drinking alcohol
‘She’s only 68 and it looks like she has newly retired not a dementia sufferer. It was diagnosed when she was 57.
‘She was angry for the rest of the day but due to her condition she couldn’t work out why.
‘At the time I was empathetic to the other guests in the cinema.
‘However on reflection I really wish I had told that lady so that she could have learnt her lesson in front of a room full of strangers.’
But things took a positive turn when a manager at nearby Cineworld in Newport offered to host a dementia-friendly viewing.
Shirley was also offered free tickets to the film.
Rhiannon added: ‘I had a bit of a rant about it on Facebook and Cineworld got in touch with me to offer the free screening.Police truck left stranded and abandoned on beach after wheels get stuck in mud
‘We are really looking forward to it. I’ve invited other people from clubs where my mother goes – and everyone can sing or shout as much as they want.
‘So far there is about 70 people going and it’s going to be great.’
The special singalong to Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again will be held at Cineworld in Newport on August 19.