Dr Semmelweis cast announced for world premiere at Bristol Old Vic

DR SEMMELWEIS bristol old vic

Bristol Old Vic has announced the full cast for its world premiere production of Dr Semmelweis.

The new piece is written by Stephen Brown with Mark Rylance based on an original idea by Rylance.


Rylance will also star as Ignaz Semmelweis, 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 company will also feature 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.

The show opens on 26 January, with previews from 20 January and runs until 12 February 2022 with tickets on sale now here.

Confronted by the terrible death toll of childbed fever in 19th century Vienna, 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 pioneer is not enough.

Years later, he is haunted by the ghosts of the women he failed to save. Is it too late to convince the medical establishment to see the truth? And if he tries what will be the cost?

The production is directed by Tom Morris with set and costume design by Ti Green, lighting design by Richard Howell, choreography by Antonia Franceschi, music by Adrian Sutton; sound design by Jon Nicholls and voice and dialect work by Martin McKellan. The associate director is Claire O’Reilly and assistant director is Victor Lirio.

Dr Semmelweis is one of three world première productions in Bristol Old Vic’s spring season, appearing together with award-winning local writer Ross Willis’ Wonder Boy (5 – 26 March 2022) and The Meaning of Zong (2 April – 7 May 2022), written by and starring Giles Terera.

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