Dr. Semmelweis (West End)
Closed 2h 30m
Dr. Semmelweis (West End)

Dr. Semmelweis (West End) London Reviews and Tickets

(131 Ratings)
Members say
Absorbing, Great acting, Clever, Intelligent, Entertaining

About the Show

Mark Rylance stars in this drama about the life of an early pioneer of antiseptic medicine.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (86)

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51 Reviews | 1 Follower
Intense, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing, Ambitious

See it if You are up for a compelling drama about a medical pioneer condemned by ignorance and his personality flaws.

Don't see it if Death in childbirth gives you the willies and swearing upsets you. Read more

55 Reviews | 11 Followers
Resonant, Intelligent, Great staging, Great acting, Enchanting

See it if If you like a masterful play with excellent staging and acting

Don't see it if You want something light. This play deals with heavy, sensitive issues Read more

70 Reviews | 6 Followers
Dramatic, Intense, Intelligent, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if Captivating plot from the first minute. Great acting (Mark Rylane is superb) and interesting staging. Intense and gripping.

Don't see it if You want something light hearted.

277 Reviews | 83 Followers
Rylance is spectacular

See it if u like watching a mystery unravel before u even when u know who dun it before it begins. Rylance makes Semmelweiss human; u see his thoughts

Don't see it if u can't understand how a brilliant mind can also be emotionally stunted.

132 Reviews | 10 Followers
Resonant, Refreshing, Intense, Relevant, Absorbing

See it if You want to be moved. I have always thought contemporary dance as high brow Olympic floor exercise but this got even my noob self invested.

Don't see it if You despite my above words can't stand moments of physical theatre. How about the legend Mark Rylance swaying around sound; sold?

466 Reviews | 113 Followers
Exquisite direction, Engrossing, Mark rylance!

See it if you like medical historical dramas, with a strong lead and directorial touches that include a live string quartet and choreographed dancers

Don't see it if you'd rather avoid shows with themes of medical suffering, especially of pregnant women. Also, 2nd act lags, after an electrifying first act

63 Reviews | 4 Followers
Resonant, Biographical, Creative, Haunting, Mark rylance, haunting, profound, biographical

See it if If you are a fan of Mark Rylance, want to see a brilliantly staged (considering the theme) play, Dr. Semmelweis is worth knowing about

Don't see it if scenes of women giving births, scenes of pain, dying, suffering both physical and psychological bothers you

78 Reviews | 5 Followers
Interesting string quartet, Beautiful dancing, Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if you like a good script played by high standard actors, appreciate ballet and string music and balance of serious story and comical moments.

Don't see it if you are not comfortable with the talk of death. Although there are many funny scenes, the theme is very dark too.

Critic Reviews (11)

The London Evening Standard
July 12th, 2023

“The ending is rushed and clumsy but it doesn’t matter. One of our finest, alchemically instinctive actors is back where he belongs: onstage.”
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Time Out London
July 12th, 2023

"Mark Rylance is astonishing – again – in this unsettling, atmospheric drama about the downfall of a pioneering doctor"
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The Telegraph (UK)
July 11th, 2023

"Playing a maverick doctor who discovers a ground-breaking cure, the star embodies crusading eccentricity – and dangerous monomania... [this play places] resonant emphasis on the dangers of group-think and the way medical hierarchies can crush whistleblowers. "
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July 11th, 2023

“He [Rylance] makes Semmelweis hard to like. But he also lets you see inside his head, showing the thrill of being part of a new way of thinking, indicating the panic as he half realises his mind is becoming disturbed. It’s an extraordinarily subtle and emotional performance.”
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London Theatre
July 12th, 2023

“This stirring tragedy gives a voice to the voiceless: not just the unfairly treated Semmelweis, but the women whose pain was ignored, and whose deaths were dismissed as routine.”
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The Times (UK)
July 12th, 2023

“There is humour here as well as physical theatre, music, anger, sadness, emotional nuance.”
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The Stage (UK)
July 12th, 2023

"Mark Rylance gives a fascinating, febrile performance in this unwieldy but absorbing historical drama."
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The Independent (UK)
July 12th, 2023

“Everything about the production seems designed to make you feel like you’ve had an exhilarating night at the theatre, while not wholly delivering it. It’s the trappings without the substance; many hands, making effortful work.”
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