Mark Rylance to star in the critically acclaimed Dr Semmelweis in the West End
14 March 2023
Mark Rylance returns to the West End this summer in Dr Semmelweis opening at the Harold Pinter Theatre on 11 July, with previews from 29 June, and running until Saturday 7 October.
The critically acclaimed Bristol Old Vic production, directed by Tom Morris, opened in 2022, and sees Rylance reprise the title role.
Mark Rylance said today, "Here is a person who makes one of the most important discoveries in modern medicine - what we now call ‘Bacteria’ - and yet he is pretty much unknown because for forty years, until Louis Pasteur and Dr Lister make the same discovery, no one will listen to him. Why?
“I was intrigued. The inspiration to act our story with a chorus of ballet dancers and a quartet representing the many thousands of mothers who perished unnecessarily, makes this a very powerful piece of theatre for me. I am thrilled to be reviving it in London at the Harold Pinter Theatre."
The production will play for a strictly limited 14-week run.
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“We are the doctors of the modern age. We are marching into battle.”
Mark Rylance returns to the West End as one of medicine’s greatest pioneers, maverick Hungarian doctor Ignaz Semmelweis – the man whose research could save many millions of mothers’ lives. But what good is a discovery that is ignored?
In Vienna, a city of artistic and scientific revolution, thousands of women are still dying in childbirth each and every year. Only Dr Semmelweis can see the invisible killer at work, but to stop it, he must convince his colleagues to admit culpability and approve change.
Damned by an establishment that questions his methods, his motives and even his sanity, Semmelweis is haunted by the women he has failed to save. Can he finally convince the greatest doctors of 19th century Europe to accept his argument – and what will it cost him to make an almost impossible case?
Following a “smash hit” (Mail on Sunday), sold-out run at Bristol Old Vic, this “compelling new drama” (The Telegraph) directed by Tom Morris, featuring live music by Adrian Sutton and original choreography by Antonia Franceschi of Balanchine’s New York City Ballet, comes to the Harold Pinter Theatre in the West End for a strictly limited run this summer.
In association with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.