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Page last updated at 12:42 GMT, Thursday, 27 January 2011
Southampton scientists help with dementia play
Dementia Diaries
Tim Barlow plays the role of Tata

A new play about dementia has been developed in partnership with a Southampton hospital.

The Dementia Diaries - a literary drama by Brighton-based poet Maria Jastrzebska - is being performed at the city's Nuffield Theatre.

The producers worked with research clinicians and medics at the Memory Assessment and Research Centre (MARC)

The sessions at the Moorgreen Hospital centre aimed to ensure the accuracy and authenticity of the play.

Personal experience

The story is told on stage through monologues of a dysfunctional Anglo-Polish family and their Polish carer, with both of the parents suffering from different forms of dementia.

Author Maria Jastrzebska, who based the drama on her personal experience, said: "I'm very excited about this opportunity for artists and scientists to work together."

The Dementia Diaries
The Dementia Diaries is set to go on a national tour

Rehearsed readings of the play were part of the Eastbourne festival in 2008.

Since then, funding of £25,000 from biomedical research charity the Wellcome Trust has allowed the project to be developed further, including the work with the MARC team.

The centre is one of the country's leading departments of clinical neuroscience.

As well as collaborating on the play, they also produced a printed programme to dispel many of the myths surrounding dementia and provide audiences with information and useful contacts.

After the run in Southampton, at least 10 performances are set to be scheduled nationwide.

The Dementia Diaries is on at the Nuffield Theatre in Southampton from 31 January - 2 February 2011.

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