FIRST LOOK: Rehearsals for Dr Semmelweis starring Mark Rylance at Bristol Old Vic

Last Updated on 18th January 2022

We are pleased to bring you these rehearsal images of Mark Rylance in Dr Semmelweis at Bristol Old Vic.

Mark Rylance
Mark Rylance (Dr Semmelweis). Photo: Geraint Lewis

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 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) with 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 production opens on 26 January, with previews from 20 January and runs until 12 February 2022.

Dr Semmelweis
Joshua Ben-Tovim and Mark Rylance. Photo: Geraint Lewis

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?

Dr Semmelweis
Mark Rylance, Enyi Okoronkwo and the company of Dr Semmelweis. Photo: Geraint Lewis

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.


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