Rebel Angel

Location: The Old Operating Theatre Museum

September 19, 2017 - October 7, 2017


You leave school – home – training – now what does life hold? A career? A vocation? A life in the arts?
Money? Fame? A life of good works? Security? Danger? How and why do you choose? Who sways
your mind?

Rebel Angel explores the momentous occasion when John Keats opted for poetry over surgery, for
posthumous fame over a life of conventional prosperity.

The play is a site-specific production created to be experienced in the evocative and atmospheric
ambience of a contemporary operating theatre. The story unfolds in the well of the old theatre,
while the audience sit or stand on the tiers originally occupied by the watching (and occasionally
fainting) medical students.

As Keats was becoming increasingly horrified by the blundering of his supervisor ‘Butcher’ Lucas
and the nightmare of dealing with the macabre body snatchers, so he was falling under the spell of
his mentor Charles Cowden Clarke, the admiration of his new girl friends and the encouragement
of poets Leigh Hunt and Shelley. Despite the opposition of his stern guardian Mr. Abbey, he was
inspired by poetry and the mesmeric acting of Edmund Kean to try to emulate his hero Shakespeare.

The Old Operating Theatre Museum has recently been refurbished with new lift access and this
production also includes BSL interpreted performances. Please note that as a site-specific production
you are not guaranteed a seat. If you would like to or need to sit down then for your own comfort
it is recommended that you bring a cushion to place on the tiers. For more details on accessibility
please contact the Old Operating Theatre on

Tue 19 September to Sat 7 October 2017 at 7pm
Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret, 9a St Thomas Street, London, SE1 9RY
Schools matinees Weds 3pm BSL performances Thu 28 September and Fri 6 October
No performances on Sundays or Thu 5 October
Running time approximately 75 minutes (no interval)

How to book tickets:

In person at the Old Operating Theatre Museum & Herb Garret
Email Website