Victor Lirio | Actor | Director | Theatremaker


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 , Joshua Ben-Tovim , Megan May Cameron , Jackie Clune , Megumi Eda , Sandy Grierson , Felix Hayes , Suzy Halstead , Daniel York Loh , Enyi Okoronkwo , Mark Rylance , Clemmie Sveaas , Thalissa Teixeira , Millie Thomas , Alan Williams , Haim Choi , Coco Inman , Kasia Ziminska , Shizuku Tatsuno , Ewan Black , Danann McAleer , Stefanie Mueller

Written by: Stephen Brown with Mark Rylance
Director: Tom Morris
Associate Director: Claire O’Reilly
Assistant / Resident Director: Victor Lirio
Music: Adrian Sutton
Choreography: Antonia Franceschi
Designer: Ti Green
Lighting Designer: Richard Howell
Sound Designer: Jon Nicholls
Voice and Dialect Work: Martin McKellan
Senior Producer: Catherine Morgenstern
Company Stage Manager: Katie Thackeray
Deputy Stage Manager: Lucy Topham
Assistant Stage Manager: Caitlin Ravenscroft
Production Photos: Geraint Lewis