Playwright Nicola Baldwin and Dr Elaine Cloutman-Green, Lead Healthcare Scientist at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), run an ongoing collaboration project Nosocomial, supported by SfAM, for NHS Healthcare Scientists to tell their stories through drama.
Remember, Remember! tells the remarkable tale of how a group of Healthcare scientists foil the Gunpowder Plot, with the help of a bossy 9 year old Princess, a malfunctioning MALDI-TOF machine and the weird and wonderful mysteries of Microbiology, Haematology, Biochemistry, Immunology and… time travel.
After swabbing Guy Fawkes, and testing debris from the Houses of Parliament, the Healthcare Scientists work out where the remaining Plotters are hiding, and persuade them to give themselves up so they can be treated for the infection one has caught from bonfire wood.
Dr Cloutman-Green created Activity Packs based on the science and history from the play with Anthony Manuel DeSouza, with input from Fionnuala Wilkins at GOSH school. Amy Sutton of GOSH Youth Forum gave feedback on the story, and Laura Walsh of GOSH Playteam was involved in the planning group.
Hannah Jones directed the first performance, and the actors were Jennifer Daley, Tara Kearney, Becky Simon, and Peter Hamilton Dyer. Abi Bown was our designer. The first performance was also supported by HSEWG and The Royal College of Pathologists.
Thanks to Healthcare Science, our scientist heroes were even able to give the historical story a happy ending. After discovering that the Gunpowder Plot was partly a protest about people in the villages getting ill, the Healthcare Scientists negotiated the Plotters’ release… On condition they take with them rhymes they have learned about infection prevention and hand hygiene back into their communities, as a living antidote to the spread of disease.
This play was created for children and families unable to leave hospital because of illness or infection, to engage them in the science behind their treatment. Unlike doctors and nurses who are visible, NHS Healthcare Scientists work out of sight in hospital laboratories. HCS represent 5% of NHS workforce,yet they are responsible for 80% diagnoses.
Now that the whole country is in isolation, we’d like to share Remember, Remember!, its Activity Packs and infection prevention message with everyone, in partnership with SfAM. We hope it will provide an informative and entertaining way to learn about viruses and bacteria, and that you enjoy performing it and doing the activities at home.
Nicola Baldwin & Elaine Cloutman-Green