Richard Clements, Roisin Gallagher and Darren Franklin Stitched Up 1

NHS cuts finally ‘Stitched Up’

Northern Ireland’s healthcare crisis to star in latest theatre production 

RENOWNED Belfast playwright, Rosemary Jenkinson, has sharpened her pencil and used her own personal experience with the local National Health Service to write c21 Theatre Company’s latest production, ‘Stitched Up’, which will run at the Lyric Theatre between 17 February and 21 February 2015.

The NHS over the last year has had its many issues but none have been characterised in this manner until now. Playwright and author Rosemary Jenkinson explained; “For two and a half years I suffered debilitating pain from cysts on my spine, which required a serious operation. Even the simplest of things like sitting was extremely painful and, as you can imagine, was destroying my ability to write. As my condition was so rare, the only specialist in the field was in London, but the referral was taking such a long time that in the end I had no alternative other than to fund the operation myself.

“With ‘Stitched Up’ my intention was to take my experience and do something positive with it. I don’t want to bash the NHS as I know there are many incredibly hard working individuals who do their best on a daily basis.  I wanted to create a dramatic story and bring it to life on stage, whilst highlighting some of our very own Northern Irish idiosyncrasies and laugh at them, rather than cry!” Rosemary continued.

The play focuses on Aidan, a surgeon in the NHS, who is reaching melting point in his career. His wife, Kate, a high profile peace-facilitator is meanwhile preoccupied with her campaign to remove the peace walls in Belfast. Their passionate relationship is juxtaposed by the differences developing between their careers. It also features the complexities of the Northern Ireland landscape, not to mention the arrival of Ruairi, who forces Aidan to make a life or death decision.

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Stephen Kelly, co-founder of c21 Theatre Company is making his directorial debut and is immensely excited about taking on the role. He said: “This project just excited me tremendously. Hearing Rosemary’s story, I was inspired by how she was able to take something that was so negative and turn it into an amusing ironic play that is written in a smart and engaging manner. Northern Ireland has its problems, but we know how to laugh at ourselves and that’s exactly what this production does!”

“We have three great actors involved in the production, Richard Clements who recently starred in ‘The Fall’, Roisin Gallagher also in ‘The Fall’ as well as the BBC One show ‘Doctors’ and Darren Franklin who has acted across theatre and television. All of them have enormous experience across a number of fields and it is a privilege and an honour to work with them in ‘Stitched Up’.

“The production while it is funny is also quite dramatic. There are a few plot twists that took me by surprise when I first read the script, it really made me want to take on the directing role for the play.

“After the Lyric Theatre we are going to take this on tour around the province so keep an eye out at your local theatre – it will be well worth a night out!” added Stephen Kelly.

Stiched up Belfast

Tickets are on sale now at the Lyric Theatre box office contact 028 9038 1081 or online via www.lyrictheatre.co.uk. Make sure to like c21 Theatre Company on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for exclusive updates and show information.

Richard Clements, Roisin Gallagher and Darren Franklin in Stitched Up 5jpg

Richard Clements, Roisin Gallagher and Darren Franklin Stitched Up 2

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