A NEW play is putting dementia-related issues in the spotlight.

A Different Tune is a gentle comedy about a community orchestra which includes some members dealing with dementia and explores the developing relationships between them.

A Brewery Arts Centre and Dignity in Dementia commission, the play takes a fresh look at dementia and encourages people to examine their own attitudes to the condition.

Performances will be at Cookes Studio, on Barrow's Abbey Road, on Wednesday, May 15 and the Victoria Hall, Grange-over-Sands, on Thursday, May 16. There will also be a performance at Kendal's Brewery on Tuesday, May 14. All start at 7.30pm.

The piece was penned by up-and-coming playwright Elis Shotton, who worked closely with Dignity in Dementia to gain an understanding of the condition. He was mentored on the project by established writer Kevin Dyer who also penned Ruby for last year’s Applied Theatre in Cumbria project, a play about anxiety in young people performed to thousands of schoolchildren across the county.

Elis said that working with Dignity in Dementia on the project had been really exciting: "I'm looking forward to seeing how the piece looks on its feet and how these different characters interact and help audience members see that life doesn't have to end when you get dementia; you can form new relationships and take on new tasks."

The project has been made possible thanks to £19,000 of funding from Arts Council England, Cumbria County Council, the Sir John Fisher Foundation and is being performed by the Brewery’s Act Your Age company of senior amateur actors.

“Projects like this show how the arts can be a beneficial force in improving people’s mental health and well-being," explained the Brewery's Creative Learning manager Tricia Gordon. "It is full of positive messages about dementia and how it shouldn’t be seen as ‘the end’ but can be embraced and be viewed as another important chapter in someone’s life.”

Based in Arnside, Dignity in Dementia supports hundreds of people across south Cumbria and north Lancashire. Its director Lesley Gill said she hoped the project would raise the profile of the charity and the work it did.

Tickets at the door for Barrow performance; the Victoria Hall for the Grange show, and Brewery 01539-725133.