By Mark Shenton
09 Sep 2013
According to press materials, the play explores the National Health Service, one of the UK's best-loved and most fiercely debated institutions that offers free health care to all in Britain.
This May Hurt A Bit opens at Bolton's Octagon Theatre March 25, 2014, for a run through April 5, then tours before beginning performances at London's St James Theatre May 12, prior to an official opening May 19, for a run through June 21.
The production is directed by Out of Joint artistic director Max Stafford-Clark, whose experience of a major stroke in 2006, plus years of subsequent treatment, inspired playwright Stella Feehily (Max's wife) to research and write the play.
A month after stating, "we will stop the top-down reorganisation of the NHS that has got in the way of patient care," the government launched the biggest top-down reorganisation the service had seen in its 65-year history. The play explores one family’s journey through the digestive system of the NHS, and asks: what is the prognosis?
In a press statement, Stafford-Clark has commented, "Here in the UK, theatre is the artform 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."
In partnership with producer Karl Sydow, early bookers will have access to seats from £5, and Stafford-Clark comments, "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. 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, to whom we are very grateful."
Feehily's previous plays for Out of Joint include Duck, O Go My Man, Dreams of Violence and Bang Bang Bang. Sydow has recently brought Out of Joint's productions of Our Country's Good to the St James Theatre and A Dish of Tea with Dr Johnson into the West End.
To book tickets, contact the box office on 0844 264 2140 or visit stjamestheatre.co.uk for more details.