Mamma Mia fan with dementia offered private film showing

image copyrightTom Martin/Wales news service
image captionCineworld in Newport hosted the dementia-friendly viewing for more than 100 friends and patients

A Mamma Mia fan with dementia has had a private screening of the new film after some members of the cinema audience complained about her singing along.

Rhiannon Lewis and her mother Shirley, who has early on-set dementia, said they left a showing of the new film, when people began tutting behind them.

After complaining on Facebook, the 68-year-old was offered her own viewing to which she invited more than 100 of her friends and other dementia patients.

It was held at Cineworld in Newport.

Ms Lewis said the music from the film helped to calm her mother, who was diagnosed with early on-set dementia at the age of 57.

A theatre manager offered to host the viewing after Ms Lewis complained on on social media about their experience at the Vue cinema in Cwmbran last month.

They took up the offer of the personal screening on Sunday and Ms Lewis, 40, of Cwmbran in Torfaen. said: "The stress just melted away - it wasn't an issue this time.

"People were free to move around, there was a whole residential home of people that came and they were standing and talking and children [were] dancing in the aisles.

image copyrightRhiannon Lewis
image captionRhiannon (centre) said her mum Shirley (right) was made to feel unwelcome at the cinema by other cinemagoers "huffing and puffing"

"For those couple of hours she's not confused, just in the moment and not having to deal with this daily battle she's going through," she added.

The film, which stars Meryl Streep and includes ABBA hit songs, is Shirley's favourite film.

Ms Lewis said that other audience members had began "huffing, puffing and tutting" at the previous showing of the musical romantic comedy, which she took her mother to for her birthday in July.

Ms Lewis said: "My mum was really sad. She didn't want to leave the cinema and yelled 'no' when we tried to get her out of her seat."

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