BROMLEY BEDLAM BETHLEHEM to Receive First Full London Run

By: Mar. 29, 2019
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Bromley Bedlam Bethlehem Rachel Tookey's award-winning play about the intergenerational impact of mental illness and trauma will have its first full-length London run at the Old Red Lion Theatre from 30 April - 25 May, coinciding with UK Mental Health Week.

The show follows three family members along three separate timelines, each detailing their own personal struggle with mental illness:

Christmas Eve. 1948. Deep in the heart of Galway, Eamonn, the fattest baby you've ever seen, is found abandoned in a manger.

70 years later, after struggling to make amends with his estranged daughter Sarah and grandson Ben, one final and fateful action leaves the next two generations of his family reeling.

These timelines intertwine and merge to show how each family member's experience of mental illness haunts the others.

Bromley Bedlam Bethlehem explores the little-known but urgent issue of how mental illness can spread throughout multiple generations, creating fresh trauma in a society unforgiving of those who do not fit the mould. In doing the play also touches on society's continued omert around suicide and mental health, particularly within the Catholic Church and in families of Irish heritage.

The story was inspired by the family of playwright Rachel Tookey her grandmother's early life in an abusive Irish Catholic orphanage, the suicides of her aunt and uncle, and her own struggles with mental health issues while a student.

The play was the winner of the prestigious Methuen Drama/Marlowe Society 'Other Prize', previously won by Jack Thorne. Tim Cribb, who has run the prize since its inception, has said he believes Bromley to be the best winner since Jack Thorne's 2003 play.

Rachel Tookey's work has been presented in venues, such as Southwark Playhouse, the Lyric Hammersmith, the Etcetera Theatre, and New York's Kraine Theater. Her first play Judge Judy's Buzz World won the Footlights' Harry Porter Prize before transferring to the Camden Fringe, where it received critical acclaim. She studied at Cambridge University, where she became the first ever writer to win both major playwriting prizes, and was published in the prestigious Mays Anthology.

Bromley Bedlam Bethlehem stars Daragh O'Malley (star of the long-running hit show Sharpe's alongside Sean Bean, On Home Ground, Waking the Dead, Silent Witness), Madeleine Bowyer (Black Mirror, Emmerdale, Holby City) and Daniel Rainford (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama graduate).

Voxie Productions is an award-winning company that focusses on exploring important contemporary issues. Their first production, Ad Libido, had a sell-out run at Edinburgh Fringe 2018, receiving four-stars in The Guardian and being listed as one of their "Best Shows at the Edinburgh Festival 2018".



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