Poignant performances by well-known British actors James Bolam and Miriam Margoyles capture the loneliness of old age in a Christmas campaign for charity Age U.K.
The spots, by content agency Drum, are well-scripted monologues in which the actors reminisce about Christmases past and reflect on how their lives have changed. Rather than immediately plunging into a misery story, the actors tell their tales in such an authentic, nuanced way that slowly brings the point home.
Margoyles (whose career has included appearing in the "Harry Potter" films) explains as "Janet," how, generally, she enjoys solitude but it becomes strange when "you haven't spoken to anyone for days, or weeks." She goes on to say that she doesn't plan anything for Christmas any more, because "nothing every happens."
In "Roy's Story," Bolam's character reminisces about his life, his experience in the Second World War and how he met his wife, who is now dead. The spot again avoids overdone sentiment to gain our sympathies, but conveys that loneliness can creep up on older people even if you're "good at talking to yourself."
The films, which were both directed by Liz Unna at Independent Films, highlight Age U.K.'s telephone service for older people, in which they can speak to a friendly voice. They end with the tagline "No-one should have no-one." The charity has also been running geo-targeted outdoor ads that inform people how many seniors in their area are living on their own at Christmastime.