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Out of Joint tackles NHS at St James

First Published 6 September 2013, Last Updated 6 September 2013

This May Hurt A Bit, Stella Feehily’s ambitious new play tackling the topical subject of patient care in the UK, will play at the St James theatre next summer following a UK tour.

The Out of Joint production, which draws upon the company’s Artistic Director and Feehily’s husband Max Stafford-Clark’s personal experiences following a major stroke, will play at the Victoria venue from 12 May to 21 June with casting to be announced.

Inspired to research and write the work following Stafford-Clark’s 2006 ordeal that saw the director hospitalised for six months, Feehily has chosen one of the most topical and debated institutions in the UK as a subject. Taking a look at the vast organisation through the story of one family’s journey through the system, the play questions what the prognosis is for this much-loved, but incredibly complicated and frequently criticised institution.

Stafford-Clark, who will direct the play, commented on the choice of subject matter, saying: “Here in the UK, theatre is the art form through which we grapple with the great concerns of our time. Many people have strong and complex views on the NHS, and the fact that we have sold nearly 1000 tickets already for our performances of the show in Bolton next year demonstrates a hunger to engage with the subject.”

Returning to St James theatre following its critically acclaimed 25th anniversary production of Our Country Good earlier this year, Out of Joint hopes to continue its success at the London venue by offering 500 tickets across the run for just £5. “We are determined that this dazzling and far-reaching new play will be affordable to as many people as possible, even with the financial constraints of a commercial theatre in London with just 300 seats,” Stafford-Clark explained. “So we are being bold. We are making 500 seats available across the run for £5 each and a further 1000 seats available for £14 each. This would not be possible without the support of Karl Sydow [the show’s London producer], to whom we are very grateful.”

The news follows St James theatre’s announcement earlier today that another medical-based but very different drama, The Next Room Or The Vibrator Play, will play at the venue later this year, adding to an autumn/winter season that also includes the Trevor Nunn-directed Scenes From A Marriage.

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