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Signature Theatre, New York 

28th August - 29th September 2024


Director: Alex Howarth

Writer: Becky Hope-Palmer

Music and lyrics: Robin Hiley

Producer: Charades

Dramaturgy: Alex Howarth, Richard Lounds, Robin Hiley, Jess Conway 

Set and Costume Design: Alice McNicholas

Lighting and Video Design: Will Monks

Medical Consultancy: Dame Sally Davies, Dr Meghan Perry

Supported by the CDC Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation


Preview articles in the press

'How often can a musical deliver a lifesaving message to society?'- The New York Times

'Just what the doctor ordered' - Forbes Magazine

Alex is currently developing original musical 'Lifeline' which examines anti-microbial resistance and features a chorus of real life medical professionals, which will open at Signature Theatre New York in 2024. Telling the stories of Alexander Fleming and a doctor in 2024 trying to save the life of a patient and with an original Scottish folk score, it is supported by major figures in the world of medicine including Dame Sally Davies, the UK Special Envoy on Antimicrobial Resistance.  


Material from the show was showcased in Barbados for the Prime Minister Mia Mottley at the high-level AMR leaders group meeting in 2023, as well as at the Houses of Parliament for MPs in collaboration with WaterAid and the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy in support of the publication of a paper on the need for clean water in lower and middle income countries to prevent the spread of AMR.

Uniquely, the musical combines a professional cast of actors with a chorus of scientists and healthcare professionals local to each city it performs in. This allows it not only to connect with local people and communities but also to give voice to and perform alongside people who understand the issue of AMR and work with it in their everyday lives.

A workshop of the show will take place at Chichester Conservatoire in May 2024.

The show is supported by the CDC Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation.


Five million people a year die from illness linked to antibiotic resistance. It just might be the biggest threat to humanity you have never heard of.

Antibiotics are drugs used to treat infections caused by bacteria and only bacteria. In the past eighty years they have saved millions of lives. Antibiotic resistance, a type of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), is a natural process allowing bacteria to evolve defenses that renders our drugs less effective. If we used antibiotics sensibly, only when we really needed them, we might have enough time to halt the spread of resistance through the population and develop new drugs to fight infection. 

Unfortunately, we overuse antibiotics to treat infections that might improve by themselves, that are caused by viruses, and we even use them to fatten animals raised in the meat industry. This overuse has led to the creation of superbugs, bacteria that are resistant to most or all of the antibiotics we throw at them. These resistant bacteria are now linked to about 5 million deaths globally every year. Without urgent action, this number is only going to rise.


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