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Hampstead take on public services

Published 12 September 2014

Hampstead Theatre’s winter season will tackle two of the UK’s most essential – and controversial – public services, the Metropolitan Police Force and the NHS, with a new play by Roy Williams and the return of Nina Raine’s acclaimed Tiger Country.

Sucker Punch playwright Williams’ new thriller Wildefire will play from 6 to 29 November, and centre on the mental and physical impact urban policing has on the people we rely on to keep the peace.

The world premiere will tell the story of Gail Wilde, an average policewoman who just happens to more than live up to her nickname Wildefire. When a fellow officer is involved in a serious incident on the beat, suspicions surrounding Gail’s professional conduct reach fever pitch and a cycle of accusations and recrimination ensues.

Following their work together on Williams’ Days Of Significance, Royal Shakespeare Company regular Maria Aberg will direct. The drama will mark the acclaimed Swedish director’s return to the Hampstead Theatre following Belongings and The God’s Weep.

Moving to the subject of one of UK’s the most talked about institutions, Raine will reprise her self-directed exposing look at hospital life, Tiger Country, from 8 December to 17 January.

First seen at Hampstead Theatre in 2011, the acclaimed drama follows a workplace full of professionals toiling under the most extreme pressures within the overburdened service that we all depend on.

Set over a busy festive period, Tiger Country follows the turbulent staff romances, failures and action-packed drama that takes place within the walls of one hospital.

First performed in the round following Raine’s extensive research into the subject, Official London Theatre described the play’s world premiere performance as “Gripping and provocative”, adding that it left you with a terrifying “sense of how precarious the system is, how your fate, as a patient, depends on how much sleep your doctor has had, when their shift ends, and whether they have the right medicine in the right tray at the right time.”

The pair of topical plays will follow Roger Allam’s forthcoming turn in Theresa Rebeck’s comedy Seminar, which plays from 25 September.

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