Mark Rylance to make Bristol Old Vic debut in Semmelweis

14 November 2019


In June, Mark Rylance will make his Bristol Old Vic debut in Semmelweis, a powerful world premiere based on the true story of Dr Ignaz Semmelweis. 

 

Semmelweis was a radical creative of the medical profession whose rejection of received wisdom dared him to look at the world differently and held the potential to save countless lives. Based on an original idea from Mark Rylance, Semmelweis is written by Stephen Brown in collaboration with Tom Morris and Mark Rylance. It is presented in association with Sonia Friedman Productions, the National Theatre and Shakespeare Road.

It takes someone difficult to change the world.

Confronted by the terrible death toll of childbed fever, maverick Doctor Semmelweis makes a discovery that could save hundreds of thousands of new mothers. But when the medical establishment questions his methods, rejects his theory and doubts his sanity, the controversial surgeon finds that being a genius is not enough.

Haunted by the ghosts of the women he could not save, can he convince a corrupt institution to see the truth?

This powerful World Premiere is based on an original idea from Mark Rylance (Jerusalem, Wolf Hall, Bridge of Spies), developed
with writer Stephen Brown (Occupational Hazards) and director Tom Morris (War Horse, Touching the Void).

Rylance is internationally known for his long association with Shakespeare’s Globe, and his many performances in the West End, on Broadway and on screen. He will play the role of Semmelweis in his Bristol Old Vic debut.