FORMER Brookside neighbours Eithne Browne and John McArdle will star in a new play about love, hope, and the realities of living with dementia.

The actors from the old Channel 4 soap will be at Leeds Playhouse to appear in Frances Poet's "extraordinary" new play, Maggie May.

Directed by Jemima Levick, Maggie May portrays an ordinary Leeds family learning to cope with a life-changing diagnosis.

Written with honesty, beautifully balanced with humour and music, it is described as ultimately an uplifting story of love in all its guises.

The play was originally commissioned in 2017 as part of Leeds Playhouse’s award-winning Every Third Minute Festival, a seven-week festival of theatre, dementia and hope curated by people living with dementia and their supporters.

Jemima said: "“From the moment I first heard about the project, its roots and its ambitions, I could sense that it was important, in the way it was stretching the boundaries of what and who theatre is for.

“Then, when I read it and felt the love and hopefulness pouring off the page for these characters and this family, I was hooked.

“I’m incredibly lucky to be working with a fantastic cast and creative team, some I’ve worked with before and others whose work I’ve admired from afar.

"I can’t wait to get started, bring them all together and share this beautiful play with audiences, particularly those people living with dementia and their families.”

Maggie May will be at Leeds Playhouse from March 31 to April 18. Call 0113 213 7700 or visit to book tickets.

The play centres around Maggie, played by Eithne Browne, a stalwart of the Royal Court Theatre in her native Liverpool but perhaps best known for her five-year, 65-episode stint in popular Merseyside soap Brookside as Chrissy Rogers.

She is joined on stage by her fellow ‘Brookie’ alumni, John McArdle, who, as Billy Corkhill, moved his family into number 10 in 1985 and left five years and 83 tumultuous episodes later. He plays Maggie’s husband, Gordon.

Both actors have enjoyed long, successful careers, both on stage and on the small screen, including recent runs on Emmerdale, as Irene Stocks, a midwife at Hotten General, and Ronnie Hale, long-lost love of Lawrence White.