Victor Lirio | Theatremaker


Following a ‘smash hit’, sold-out run at Bristol Old Vic, Dr Semmelweis comes to the Harold Pinter Theatre in London's West End for a strictly limited run beginning June 29, 2023.

Confronted by the terrible death toll of childbed fever in 19th century Vienna, maverick Doctor Semmelweis makes a discovery that could save hundreds of thousands of new mothers. But when the medical establishment questions his methods, rejects his theory and doubts his sanity, the controversial surgeon finds that being a pioneer is not enough.

Years later, he is haunted by the ghosts of the women he failed to save. Is it too late to convince the medical establishment to see the truth? And if he tries what will be the cost?

This powerful world premiere is based on an original idea from Mark Rylance (Jerusalem, Wolf Hall, Bridge of Spies), developed with writer Stephen Brown (Occupational Hazards) and director Tom Morris (War Horse, Touching the Void).

Oscar winner Mark Rylance is internationally known for his long association with Shakespeare’s Globe, and his many award-winning performances in the West End, on Broadway, and on screen. He plays the title role in his Bristol Old Vic debut.

A Bristol Old Vic production in association with Sonia Friedman Productions, the National Theatre, and Shakespeare Road.


Roseanna Anderson , Zoe Arshamian , Joshua Ben-Tovim , Helen Belbin , Ewan Black , Chrissy Brooke , Megumi Eda , Suzy Halstead , Felix Hayes , Jason Hogan , Daniel York Loh , Andrew McDonald , Pauline McLynn , Jude Owusu , Oxana Panchenko , Mark Rylance , Millie Thomas , Max Westwell , Amanda Wilkin , Alan Williams , Patricia Zhou , Haim Choi , Coco Inman , Kasia Ziminska , Shizuku Tatsuno

Written by: Stephen Brown with Mark Rylance
Director: Tom Morris
Resident Director: Victor Lirio
Associate Director: Claire O’Reilly
Music: Adrian Sutton
Choreography: Antonia Franceschi
Designer: Ti Green
Lighting Designer: Richard Howell
Voice and Dialect Work: Carol Fairlamb
Executive Producer: Ros Brooke-Taylor
Production Coordinator: Kat Pierce
Production Assistant: Beth Kelly, Maciek Zdobylak
Company Stage Manager: Katie Thackeray
Deputy Stage Manager: Lucy Topham
Assistant Stage Manager: Kimberley Towler
Production Photos: Simon Annand, Geraint Lewis