Mark Rylance will star in the West End transfer of Dr Semmelweis which opens at the Harold Pinter Theatre this Summer.
Rylance will reprise the title role in Tom Morris’ production which previously opened to critical acclaim at Bristol Old Vic theatre in 2022.
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.
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.”
Rylance most recently appeared on stage in the West End revival of his Tony and Olivier Award winning role of Johnny Rooster in Jez Butterworth’s acclaimed play Jerusalem.
Dr Semmelweis opens at the Harold Pinter Theatre on 11 July, with previews from 29 June, and runs until Saturday 7 October 2023.
Book tickets to Dr Semmelweis at the Harold Pinter Theatre