A POWERFUL real life play is to be staged about a girl who lost both her brothers, aged 16, to a rare disease.

Actress Shelley O’Brien’s brothers, Brian and Kevin, both suffered from Duchenne muscular dystrophy and died when they were teenagers.

The 48-year-old, of Blackhill, near Consett, is appearing at the Gala Theatre, Durham, in a stage version of how she found out about their illness and came to terms with it.

Ms O’Brien, who was born Michelle Parker, and grew up in Moorside, said: “It is based on my true story and is very moving and heartfelt, but like all great tragedies, there is plenty of humour.

“It is told from the perspective of a little girl who finds a book, which tells her, her brothers will die when they are aged 16. The play looks at how the little girl decides to be happy and the coping strategies she develops.”

The play, She Wins All The Races…A Tragicomedy with Biscuits, runs on October 5 and 6 at the Gala Theatre from 7.30pm. Tickets cost £10, £8 concessions, and be booked by calling (03000) 266600.