Intended for healthcare professionals

Reviews Theatre

The Lemon Princess

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 10 February 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:369
  1. Bruno Rushforth, preregistration house officer (,
  2. Amy Evans, specialist registrar in genitourinary medicine (
  1. Leeds General Infirmary
  2. Leeds General Infirmary

Written by Rachael McGill From an original idea by Ruth Carney

West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds, until 5 March 2005

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If you can get to Leeds, you must see this play. Powerful, moving, and thought provoking in equal measure, this is great theatre. At its heart, The Lemon Princess tells the story of a father's love for his teenage daughter, as she is transformed from a spirited young woman into a dependent and terminally ill patient, brain injured by the neurodegenerative condition variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD).

Although billed as a fictional account of a vCJD sufferer, the play draws heavily on director Ruth Carney's conversations with Stephen Forber, whose daughter died from the disease in 2001. With access to Stephen's diaries, and though her own research, Ruth developed the project into a wide ranging piece that also examines the politics surrounding vCJD and its link to mad cow disease—bovine …

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