A MUSICAL comedy inspired by one man’s experience of dementia is coming to the region this month.

Paradise Lodge, a musical set in a care home, is based Rossendale actor Steve Cooper’s experience of caring for his mother-in-law Dorothy in the final years of her life.

Steve, who’s best known for his roles in BAFTA winning BBC3 drama In The Flesh and appearances in Peter Kay’s Car Share and Coronation Street, wrote the play to try to make sense of the condition and how it impacted on Dorothy, her family and friends.

The piece, which will hit the stage at Ramsbottom Civic Hall next week and The Met in Bury in January, is part of a tour of the North West and Yorkshire.

A two-hander starring Steve and Manchester based actress Sophie Osborne, it focusses on dysfunctional ukulele musical duo Eric and Kylie embarking on their first gig together at the Paradise Lodge care home.

Steve, who together with wife Tracey cared for his mother-in-law for four years before she entered a care home, said: "Dorothy’s condition became apparent after her husband, Peter died. We wanted her to be able to live at home as long as possible, so Tracey and I became her full-time carers.

"I wanted to try to understand and help others understand how dementia changes the way we see reality and the impact that can have, but to look at it in a light-hearted way which celebrates the lives of people with the condition.

"Dementia is now a bigger killer than heart disease in the UK. What we hope the play will do is encourage people to think about the condition in a different way and talk about how we handle it."

Taking on nine roles between them in the hilarious and heart-wrenching tale, the duo take the audience on an exploration of the nature of identity, reality and loss – with a bit of Beyonce’s Put A Ring On It thrown in for good measure.

Sophie, who helped care for her grandma for 10 years after she developed dementia added: "There’s a lot in Paradise Lodge that will be familiar to anyone who’s been affected by dementia.

"One in three people will develop the condition and we wanted to encourage people to think about the person behind the dementia, which is why we’ve staged the play so the audience feels that like Vi and Ronnie, they’re a resident in a care home, watching Eric and Kylie perform."

Paradise Lodge runs on October 27 and 28 at Ramsbottom Civic Hall and on January 18 at The Met in Bury.

Pictures: (Left) S, in Canada on holiday and (right) Steve and Sophie ready for the show as The Dooblebugs