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The history of Thalidomide through song and dance



Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

A NEW show by Mat Fraser, one of the UK's best known disabled actors, Thalidomide!! A Musical will preview at the BAC (Battersea Arts Centre) on September 29 and 30, 2005, prior to a national tour that will also include a second London venue - The Albany Theatre in Deptford, on November 10, 2005.

The play is set against the backdrop of the Thalidomide drug scandal of the 1960s and uses a range of musical genres - from country and western through to ska and traditional musical theatre - to tell the story of Glyn and Katie.

In what is described as "a dark and deeply funny two-handed love story", Thalidomide!! A Musical is both irreverent and totally un-PC. For Glyn is "short-armed" (Thalidomide impaired) and hoping to find true love and respect with "long-armed" Katie, in what is undoubtedly, a long armed obsessed world.

Songs include: Talk to the Flipper, I Can Be His Arms, Ska'd for Life and It's Hard to Hitch Down Life's Highway With No Thumbs.

It will star Anna Winslet and Mat Fraser who, as well as writer and actor, is also a television presenter, performance poet and musician. His other work includes, Sealboy Freak which toured the UK in 2001 and 2002; Everytime You Look at Me (for BBC2) and Happy Birthday Thalidomide (for Channel 4).

It was in the 1960s that pregnant women were prescribed the drug Thalidomide to combat morning sickness but with shocking side effects. Babies born to these women had short flipper-like limbs (Phocomelia).

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