Medicine, theatre, & bedbugs

It’s that time of year for many freelancers and academics (perhaps it’s doubly bad for those of us with one foot in each world,) to either submit grant / job / funding / project applications or to start expecting to hear back from earlier applications. These run in fairly predictable phases around the holidays, summertime, etc, and thus there are stretches of time where a writer simply feels as if she’s done everything she can on any given project, and it is entirely out of her hands, and she’s waiting. The positive side: despite not knowing what the outcome of said applications/proposals/grants etc will be, I know people are reading my work/book/proposal etc because they too are working to a deadline. Meanwhile, I’m busy with a handful of other writing projects and reviews, and I’m working on some engagement projects that are unfolding in delightful ways.

Gives me the creepy-crawly heebie-jeebies just to look at the little critters...tune in 02/03 to learn more about them!

Tomorrow I’ll return to Imperial College with Rachael Black for our main workshop with the Medical Humanities students. I’m really looking forward to this: we’ve got a great core group of students who will be our actors, and we’re mixing pieces from Venus Heart with their own medical interpretations & experiences. Paired with Rachael’s extraordinary prowess at moulding what to me is an entertaining & interesting dramatic ‘sketch’ from a very, very short amount of time, this workshop is going to be a lovely blend of theatre and poetry. I’m going to spend some time introducing the material and explaining how I came to write the poetry play – this is the medical history aspect, all to do with anatomical wax models. I can’t think of a more relevant group to work with than medical students.

The radio collaboration I mentioned previously, my first experience with radio, was recorded over an extraordinary day at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine with Rebecca Tremain and Richard Barnett. The episode is going to be aired on 18 April by Resonance FM. Delightfully, the three of us are members of the Wellcome Club, ‘Henry’s,’ so Henry’s is holding a special club evening the week before with wine & snacks, inviting members to come listen to a (pre)broadcast of our ‘Bedbugs’ episode. The Bedbugs episode is only one part of Rebecca’s series, ‘The Gilded Vectors of Disease‘ which will all be available on Resonance FM. I can’t wait to hear the series: rats, mosquitoes, bedbugs, lice, fleas, ticks…oh my!

2 thoughts on “Medicine, theatre, & bedbugs

  1. I’d love to hear about, if not see, what you and Rachel are doing. It sounds fascinating. To be honest, I’m a bit surprised that medical students were willing to do it. They tend to be a rather mono-focussed lot.

    • It’s a self-selecting group in terms of open-mindedness since they are medical students taking a Medical Humanities course – I’d be happy to tell you more about it! Let me know when you’re back in London…

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