A POIGNANT musical comedy has captured the trauma families face when loved ones develop dementia.

Steve Cooper and Sophie Osborne, aka the Doodlebugs, won rave reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for their play, Paradise Lodge.

The pair play a dysfunctional ukulele musical duo Eric and Kylie embarking on their first gig together at a care home.

Throughout the drama, Sophie sings songs from the Second World War, accompanied by Steve on his ukulele.

The Doodlebugs performed a selection of wartime melodies from their show at Northwich Antiques and Collectables Centre, formerly The Red Lion, in Barnton on Monday to commemorate 74 years since the end of the conflict.

The free singalong raised funds for Dementia UK with donations from the audience as lunches and homemade cakes were served in the Penny Farthing Tearoom at the centre. The play raised more than £1,000 for Altzheimer's Scotland.

Winsford Guardian:

Sophie Osborne and Steve Cooper perform wartime songs in the Penny Farthing Tearoom at Northwich Antiques and Collectables Centre

Actress Sophie, 48, from Winsford, and her mum Susi sell a selection of unusual antiques on the top floor through their business, Vintage Adorables.

The former pub is now home to 18 unit holders and more items are displayed in cabinets rented by owners.

Neil Morrissey and the Celebrity Antiques Road Trip team visited the centre in July.

"It's a brilliant place, a hidden gem," said Sophie, who sells shabby chic style collectables, including lamps, pictures, bags and toys. "We wanted to introduce people who hadn't been here before. It's a real treasure trove.

"Everyone was singing along with us."

People joined in wartime songs including Wish Me Luck As You Wave Me Goodbye, You Are My Sunshine, Sally, Run Rabbit and The Thing-Ummy Bob.

Sophie, who helped care for her gran Marjorie Johnson for 10 years after she developed dementia, said: "It is a subject close to my heart.

"One in three people will develop the condition and we wanted to encourage people to think about the person behind the dementia."

Writer Steve Cooper used his experience of caring for his mother-in-law Dorothy in her final years as she lived with dementia.

Steve, who appeared in Peter Kay's Car Share and Coronation Street, wrote the play to try and make sense of the condition and how it impacted on his family.

Taking on nine roles between them, this hilarious and heart-wrenching tale explores the nature of identity, reality and loss.

The audience plays the role of care home residents as Steve and Sophie use a series of touching flashbacks and comic songs from the war years to take them back to happier days.

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Sophie, who landed her first TV role in the BBC detective series Dalziel & Pascoe, said: "It is beautifully written. There are some really sad moments.

"It raises awareness and shows how best to deal with people with dementia."

Sophie runs stage, screen and acting classes for adults and children at Brio in Memorial Court, Northwich.

The antiques centre is hosting a coffee morning for Macmillan Cancer Care on Monday, September 23.