‘A fantastic event. I was mesmerised.’

Audience member at Dundee Science Festival

Story Machine Productions brings Sarah Passingham’s powerful new book, Push: My Father, Polio, and Me, to life in film, dance, live reading and conversation.

Push is the story of a rower struck by polio, never to walk again. Of newlyweds whose lives are turned upside down. Of an engineer who believed in finding a solution whatever the problem. And of a family man whose strength of character was only matched by his incredible physical strength.

Presented through dance, film, and live reading, Push brings us face-to-face with the human experience of disease, and the immense impact vaccination has had on eradicating polio from the UK.

Nadenh Poan, who himself had polio as a child, brings Push’s story to life in a stunning interpretive dance captured by Walks of Life Films, and reflecting the love/hate and dependency/freedom dichotomies of life in a chair.

The 40 minute performance is followed by a conversation featuring Sarah Passingham and Professor George Lomonossoff from the John Innes Centre (in person and via video link) to discuss polio, immunisation, and evidence-based scientific progress.

Speaking about this production, Sam Ruddock, Director of Story Machine Productions said: ‘We’re absolutely thrilled to be bringing this important story to audiences. We will be collaborating with some of the best dancers and filmmakers in the UK, including Matt Kay’s Walks of Life Films, and Nadenh Poan, who himself was struck by polio as a child in Cambodia.’

Push will tour science festivals, literature festivals, and more from October 2019. Keep an eye on our See Us Live page for latest dates and booking details.

Nadenh Poan – Dancer
Matthew Bannister – Push
Jessica Pidsley – Diana
Narrator – Sarah Passingham
Film Director – Matt Kay
Director of Photography – Keidrych Wasley
Gaffer – Edward Bellamy
Assistant Camera – William Taylor- Gammon
Costume and Continuity – Isabel Briggs
Composer – Hollie Buhagiar

Produced and Directed by Sam Ruddock

About the Author

Sarah Passingham writes non-fiction, short fiction, poetry, libretti, performance work and life-writing. Her first book, Hoad and Other Stories, was published in 2014. Her family memoir, Push: My Father, Polio, and Me is published by Gatehouse Press in October 2019.

Thanks to Arts Council England, John Innes Centre, and Norfolk County Council for supporting this show.


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