Bristol Old Vic today announces the full cast for the world première of Dr Semmelweis, based on an original idea by Mark Rylance, and written by Stephen Brown with Rylance.
Tom Morris directs the previously announced Mark Rylance (Ignaz Semmelweis), who is joined by Jackie Clune (Anna Müller), Sandy Grierson (Jakob Kolletschka), Felix Hayes (Ferdinand von Hebra), Enyi Okoronkwo (Franz Arneth), Clemmie Sveaas (Lisa Elstein), Thalissa Teixeira (Maria Semmelweis), Alan Williams (Johann Klein) and Daniel York Loh (Karl von Rokitanksy).
The cast also features dancers Roseanna Anderson, Joshua Ben-Tovim, Megan May Cameron, Megumi Eda, Suzy Halstead and Millie Thomas and musicians Haim Choi, Coco Inman, Kasia Ziminska and Shizuku Tatsuno, who play together as the Salomé Quartet.
Set in 19th century Vienna, the play centres on a maverick doctor who makes a discovery that could save hundreds of thousands, but is rejected by the mainstream medical establishment. Years later he is haunted by the ghosts of the women he failed to save and questions if it’s too late to convince the medical establishment.
The production opens on 26 January, with previews from 20 January and runs until 12 February 2022.
Dr Semmelweis is one of three world première productions in Bristol Old Vic’s spring season, with award-winning local writer Ross Willis’ Wonder Boy, which follows the experience of a young boy with a stammer, examining the challenges of communication, the joy in friendship and the power of finding your own way of being heard. Directed by Sally Cookson, the production runs 5 – 26 March 2022.
This is followed by The Meaning of Zong, written by and starring Giles Terera, which tells the story of pioneer abolitionist Olaudah Equiano and his response to a massacre aboard the slave ship Zong. The production, responding to the social upheaval the world has witnessed in recent years is directed by Terera and Tom Morris, and runs 2 April – 7 May 2022.