Dr Nicola Henderson is swapping her post as a GP at Coldstream Health Centre for a week of treading the boards at Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
A member of the chorus of scientists and healthcare professionals who will sing alongside musical theatre singers and dancer, Nicola will make her debut at the Fringe in ‘The Mould that Changed the World’.
It is a new musical which tells the story of Alexander Fleming, a Scottish scientist who discovered penicillin 90 years ago, and changed the world with the development of antibiotics. It charts the discovery of penicillin, the difficulties getting from that to antibiotics, the positive impact that went on to have, and the ongoing difficulties with resistance and threat that is to humanity.
Nicola describes the show as “unique, powerful and entertaining”, adding: “This is something I always wanted to do but never thought I would. I come from a family of performers but have never been blessed with the right skills to take to the stage, so this project has been perfect, particularly it having a medical slant.
“The music is catchy, the lyrics are powerful, it has a very strong message and the audience will come away feeling empowered.
“My favourite part of the show is when we stand and salute our peacemakers and pioneers - we pay tribute to leaders and to volunteers.
“Steadfast pursuit, belief despite our greatest fears, those resolute, the best of us throughout the years. This is about the discovery of antibiotics, but these words felt particularly poignant to me, in the 70th year of the NHS, with the current difficulties we are facing.
“Antibiotic resistance has developed at an alarming rate, caused by many factors, from taking antibiotics to treat illnesses where they are ineffectual to individuals not finishing prescribed courses.
“If we don’t act now, antibiotic resistance could lead to 10 million deaths per year by 2050 (it currently claims about 700,000 lives per year).
“Common medical procedures such as gut surgery, caesarean sections, joint replacements, and treatments that depress the immune system, such as chemotherapy for cancer, will also become too dangerous to perform.”
To book tickets and enjoy some of the musical’s catchy, entertaining tunes, go to tickets.edfringe.com or visit www.mouldthatchangedtheworld.com to see how you can play your part in getting this vital message out for us and for future generations.
The Mould that Changed the World is on at theSpace @ Surgeons’ Hall, Edinburgh Festival Fringe Venue 53.
Previews of the show will take place on Friday and Saturday, August 3-4, at 5.30pm.
Performances: Monday, August 6 to Saturday, August 11, 5.30pm; Monday, August 13 to Saturday, August 18, 5.30pm; Monday, August 20 to Saturday, August 25, 12.30pm.
Tickets £10/£8 concession/£5 U16 (preview shows £8/£5 concession). Box Office: 0131 226 0000. Website: tickets.edfringe.com or www.mouldthatchangedtheworld.com