Concordia Winter 2023

and it was especially encouraging to hear from healthcare professionals who happened to see it that they had connected with the show’s core tenet: people are people first and foremost and sany other label such as ‘patient’ is secondary to that. What meant the most to me, however, was hearing from others with cystic fibrosis who had watched the pre-recorded online stream (people with CF are advised not to congregate as there is a risk of cross-infection), many of whom said they felt seen in a way they never had been before. If I were to give advice to aspiring performers, it would be threefold: apply to a reputable drama school (this can certainly be done after study elsewhere), create your own work and/or collaborate with others, and be kind to yourself - don’t beat yourself up if things don’t go your way, do a side-job you enjoy, remember other things that make you happy. It’s a draining industry in all senses, so a sustainable approach is vital. At the time of writing, I’m taking a break from WONDER DRUG: A Comedy about Cystic Fibrosis for precisely this reason, and I don’t know what’s next. What I do know is that I’ll always be proud of what I’ve achieved with this show. If you would like to learn more about cystic fibrosis, please go to this link:

Charlie Merriman as Fagin in Oliver in 2010

votes; and the play is set to a soundtrack of 1980s bangers. This is the music my girlfriend and I first bonded over, and its light-hearted, yet heartfelt, tone suits that of the show perfectly. After many rehearsals with my wonderful director Helen Eastman, I presented the debut run of WONDER DRUG: A Comedy about Cystic Fibrosis at London’s VAULT Festival in February this year, and I was humbled that it sold out. From there, the show went straight to the King’s Head Theatre in Islington, where I was touched to have the support of many MTS teachers from my time at the school and since: Dominic Howell, Head of the Phab team of which I was a part, Michael Bond, former Head of Upper School, Tristan Greenaway, previously Head of Lower School and now Deputy Head Co-Curricular, and current English teachers Eleanor Trafford and Alan Richardson. Since conceiving of the show, I had always wanted to take it to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and fortunately my application was successful to the Pleasance Courtyard venue, often regarded as the heart of the festival. Performing there throughout August this year, I was thrilled that the show received multiple five-star reviews and an award nomination,


Photo: Anna Watson

Photo: Anna Watson

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