NEWS: Medicine’s Monstrous Daughters @ ARC/Northern Stage | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Two plays, two playwrights, one system. That’s the concept behind Medicine’s Monstrous Daughters, a double-bill of performances directed by Penelope Freeman coming to ARC, Stockton on Thursday 19th March and Northern Stage, Newcastle on Wednesday 1st April.

The first work, Julie NcNamara’s Monstrous Daughters, takes us on a journey with Mad Mary, who finds herself on the run from ‘specimen collectors’. As she searches for the remains of her lost baby in an old museum of human specimens. There, she meets Walter Riddle, who is similarly on a hunt of a different kind, to find the bones of an Irish giant who wished never to be placed on display.

The experience of the contemporary mental health system for women of African heritage is the setting for second play Medicine, the debut of Omikemi. On one side of Omikemi’s work, Elaine and Kem battle against a system that wants to make them invisible. On the other we are given the story of Elsie Lacks, daughter of Henrietta Lacks, the source of HeLa, one of the most important cell lines in medical research. Institutionalised at aged 10, Elsie is experimented on without her family’s consent. Together, the double bill will be hard-hitting and haunting, but will also provide an insightful exploration of attitudes towards difference as well as expose a dark, hidden side to medicinal history.

Medicine’s Monstrous Daughters is at ARC, Stockton on Thursday 19th March and Northern Stage, Newcastle on Wednesday 1st April

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