Belfast Telegraph

Personal Stories: 'I drew on my health problems to pen play'

Belfast playwright Rosemary Jenkinson

By Staff Reporter

Belfast playwright Rosemary Jenkinson has used her personal experience of the NHS to create a new play which debuts at the Lyric Theatre next month.

Rosemary ​was inspired to write about the health service for c21 Theatre Company's latest production Stitched Up after suffering cysts on her spine.

Actors Richard Clements, Roisin Gallagher and Darren Franklin will take to the Lyric stage for Stephen Kelly's directorial debut.

Rosemary said: "For two-and-a-half years I suffered debilitating pain from cysts on my spine, which required a serious operation.

"Even the simplest of things like sitting was extremely painful and, as you can imagine, was destroying my ability to write.

"As my condition was so rare, the only specialist in the field was in London, but the referral was taking such a long time that in the end I had no alternative other than to fund the operation myself.

"With 'Stitched Up' my intention was to take my experience and do something positive with it.

"I don't want to bash the NHS as I know there are many incredibly hard-working individuals who do their best on a daily basis.

"I wanted to create a dramatic story and bring it to life on stage, whilst highlighting some of our very own Northern Irish idiosyncrasies and laugh at them, rather than cry."

The show will run at the Lyric from February 17-21 and a tour will then follow.

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