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This May Hurt A Bit to be performed in Parliament and at Guy's Hospital

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THIS MAY Hurt A Bit, Stella Feehily’s new play set in and around the NHS, is to take time out of its regular touring venues for a week of special intimate “radio-play” style performances in non-theatre venues.

These include the Palace of Westminster; Guy’s Hospital Tower (presented by King’s College Institute); and the Old Operating Theatre Museum.

Taking a break from technical rehearsals of the play, which begins its tour today (Thursday, March 6, 2014) in Bury St Edmunds, director Max Stafford-Clark said:

“It is sometimes good to take a show out of theatres. We had originally intended to play a full week of performances in hospitals, but on several occasions we were told that the play was too politically controversial for an NHS Hospital Trust to host..”

The performance in Parliament will be hosted by Lord Kinnock, who advised Feehily and the company on NHS founder Aneurin Bevan – and played him in an early workshop version of the play.

The full list of non theatre venues includes:

Eastwell Manor – Monday, March 17.
Houses of Parliament – Tuesday, March 18.
Old Operating Theatre – Wednesday, March 19.
King’s College Institute at Guy’s Tower Wing, Guy’s Hospital – Thursday, March 20.
Old Operating Theatre – Friday, March 21.
Hospital Club, Covent Garden – Saturday, March 22..

Previously Posted: Casting has been announced for Max Stafford-Clark’s production of Stella Feehily’s new NHS play This May Hurt A Bit, which runs at St James Theatre from May 14 to June 21, 2014.

Acclaimed actress Stephanie Cole leads a cast that also includes Frances Ashman (People, National Theatre), Natalie Klamar (All’s Well That Ends Well, RSC), Brian Protheroe (Long Days Journey Into Night, Octagon Theatre Bolton) and brother and sister Jane and Tristram Wymark (best known for their roles in Midsomer Murders). Further casting has yet to be announced.

Stella Feehily’s play explores one family’s journey through the digestive system of the NHS, and asks: what is the prognosis?

Stephanie Cole is a highly respected actress with a long career on stage, television, radio and film. She is best known for her television work, including the recent Christmas special Still Open All Hours, as Sylvia Goodwin in Coronation Street, Diana Trent in the classic comedy series Waiting For God and Dr. Beatrice Mason in Tenko.

Her stage credits include Pygmalion and Separate Tables (Chichester Festival Theatre), Born in the Garden (Theatre Royal, Bath), Blythe Spirit and Noises Off (West End).

In This May Hurt A Bit, Cole plays Iris – a witty, feisty and independent elderly woman whose socialist values were forged in a kinder age. An unswerving champion of the NHS, she finds herself unexpectedly in its care.

Read more about This May Hurt A Bit.