Surgeon to the Dead by Charlotte O'Leary

Brand new theatre project based on true stories from medical history and performed in the oldest operating theatre in Europe.

We did it!

On 22nd Oct 2015 we successfully raised £470 with 16 supporters in 35 days



★★★★ "Gruesomely, enchanting Melancholy"

Having performed around our home, Cornwall, since 2008 this year we, the Dream Team, staged our first production in London, The Academy of Melancholy by Charlotte O'Leary at the Old Operating Theatre. Based on the real life character of James "Miranda" Barry we told the story of a desperate nurse in St Thomas' Hospital. Our protagonist Margaret went to extreme lengths to achieve her dream of becoming a surgeon even donning a doctors coat to disguise herself as a man.

We were uttterly thrilled to sell out two weeks before opening and were even more touched by the wonderful feedback we received from industry professionals and audience members.

 "Sheer brilliance!"    "I wish I could come back tomorrow!"    "Excellent, amusing, entertaining and superbly acted. Great production."    "Brilliant. Great fun but historically interesting too!"    "What a great night it was!"


OUR NEW SHOW: Surgeon to the Dead

Victorian London, 1846. Showman Dr Edwards has a reputation for having the fastest amputating knife in Britain but is becoming disheartened at the endless mundane amputations he’s expected to perform at St Thomas’ Hospital. As one of England’s most famous surgeons he’s desperate to find a way to leave a medical legacy. When he hears the Americans are planning the first operation under anesthesia he jumps at the opportunity to be the first to administer it in Europe. Battling against the highly flammable ether and a hospital full of doctors wanting a taste of his fame can he successfully perform the operation in front of Europe’s press, and before Christmas, or has he pushed himself too far this time?

Performed in the oldest operating theatre in Europe and set during the festive season, the play discovers the true untold story behind the fight to change medical history.

Our new show, Surgeon to the Dead, will open on 10th December at the Old Operating Theatre in Southwark. There will be six performances over two weeks.



Why we're asking for your help

We are passionate about bringing this remarkable museum to life but the hire fees of this beautiful building equate to more than a fully equipped professional theatre. This time we want to hire the operating theatre for twice as long to allow more people to take part in this unique experience.

Aside from the general production costs we are also commisioning a brand new script from Charlotte O'Leary and a brand new score from Emma Lane and Olivia Warren.


We look forward to welcoming you to the Old Operating Theatre this December.

Thank you.

We would like to thank Vic Hill for the footage of James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl and adapted for the stage by David Wood



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