Play aims to improve understanding of dementia

The cast of Because of Love

The cast of Because of Love: back row (l to r): Jackie Demkiw, Ian Craig and Caroline Markham. Front row (l to r) Sarah Cullingford, Simon Hurst and Claire May. Inset Mike Spellar - Credit: Axminster Drama Club

A new play being staged this month aims to help audiences gain a greater understanding about the effects of dementia. 

Author Andrew Coley has researched the condition with the intention of providing some insight into how it affects those who have been diagnosed with dementia and also those around them who experience it from the outside. 

Because of Love explores the impact that a diagnosis of dementia has on a family which has already faced up to different challenges. 

Staged by Axminster Drama Club, the play follows the experiences of Nathan and his father, Hector, as well as their immediate family and those who support them. 

Hector is a third-generation farmer who expects his son to take on the family farm but when Nathan says he doesn’t want to, their relationship becomes estranged. 

When Hector is diagnosed with dementia, Nathan, who hasn’t seen his father for years, has to decide how to react to the changing situation.  

The cast of seven have been rehearsing since January and in doing so have learned about the condition. 

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Nathan is being played by Mike Spellar who said: “Dementia brings with it a rollercoaster of emotions, both for the person with dementia and for their family.  

“Being a part of Because of Love has given me a better understanding of the fight within people to deal with this heart-breaking disease.” 

Ian Craig, who plays the part of Hector, has some experience of dementia within his own family. 

He said: “Having a 102-year-old mother with serious dementia, I have found the dialogue used in this play has changed my attitude to the disease from ‘impatient frustration’ to ‘sympathetic understanding’.”  

Axminster Drama Club will be staging Because of Love at two different venues to tie in with Dementia Action Week.  

It will be staged in Chardstock Village Hall on Thursday, May 12 and Friday, May 13 and then move on to Kilmington Village Hall for another two performances on Friday, May 20 and Saturday, May 21. 

Tickets are available for £10 from the box office at Axminster Guildhall or at