Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


VIRTUAL/IN-PERSON Festival: Rise of the Resistance

03 September 2021–04 September 2021, 2:00 pm–9:00 pm

rise of resistance

A festival of Healthcare Science drama and conversation to raise awareness of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), hosted by Nosocomial in partnership with UCL Precision AMR research initiative. Live and livestreaming at Bloomsbury Theatre.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to





Nicola Baldwin


Bloomsbury Theatre Studio
15 Gordon Street

Antimicrobial Resistance occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change over time and no longer respond to medicines, making infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death.  

As a result of drug resistance, antibiotics and other antimicrobial medicines become ineffective and infections become increasingly difficult or impossible to treat. If you’re a Healthcare Scientist, patient, scientific researcher, or medical professional, you will know this already. Otherwise, the chances are you won’t.  

You may think that AMR doesn’t affect you because you rarely take antibiotics, so you cannot possibly *be* resistant?  

We don’t develop antimicrobial resistance, microbes do. But it will affect all human and animal life on the planet, unless we work together to preserve antimicrobial effectiveness. 

So we need to find a way to talk about it, right?  


What Is AMR And What Can We Do About It? 

Friday, 3 September 2021, 14:00 – 16:30 – discussion and readings  — Bloomsbury Theatre Studio, 15 Gordon Street, London, WC1H 0AH 

Please register in the following links: live and online.

On 3 September 1928, Alexander Fleming returned to his laboratory after a holiday, and said, "That's funny".  Before leaving, Fleming had inoculated staphylococci on culture plates and left them on his bench. On return, one was contaminated with a fungus… penicillin.  We celebrate the birthday of antibiotics, with a conversation between Healthcare Scientists, researchers, artists, and patients on how to address the challenge of antimicrobial resistance. Plus Festival extracts, performance & discussion. Presented in association with Precision AMR research initiative at UCL. 

If I don't Play I don't Understand   

Friday, 3 September 2021, 18:00 – 19:30 BST - digital immersive performance 

Please register in the following link: online.

Welcome to the Bacterial Leisure Centre; the best fitness centre for bacteria in the microbiome to train for bacterial success! Our Leisure Centre is located in the heart of the breathtaking Microbiome Resort, set in a 2,700 square feet of the Gut. Our team of trainers will coach and guide you in this adventure of becoming bacteria, and they will make sure you will have an unforgettable experience. Explore communication and expression from a microbial perspective. Designed and directed by Monika Gravagno of Facciocose Theatre.  

Nosocomial Collaborations 

Friday, 3 September 2021, 20:00 – 21:45 BST – screening, script in hand play performance, discussion —Bloomsbury Theatre Studio, 15 Gordon Street, London, WC1H 0AH 

Please register in the following links: live and online

‘Nosocomial’ means ‘hospital acquired’, and the Nosocomial Project turns hospital-acquired experiences of NHS Healthcare Scientists, and patients, into drama. Klebsiella is the shapeshifter of the microbial world. A compulsive stealer of DNA. Who is she? Why does she do these things? In a crisis of identity, Klebsiella seeks psychotherapy. A film portrait of Klebsiella pneumoniae by writer/ performer Peter Clements & filmmaker Becky Simon. Nosocomial combines science fiction and science fact with the personal stories of NHS Healthcare Scientists. A staged reading of the award-winning verbatim drama.  

Jo is not well. Something strange is happening. As a scientist, she can resolve this. Unless the world is infected. Unless it’s everywhere.  

Sock the Puppet  

Saturday, 4 September 2021, 14:00 – 15:00 BST – workhop and screening — Bloomsbury Theatre Studio, 15 Gordon Street, London, WC1H 0AH 

Please register in the following links: live and online

A puppet story for children about Socks, Science, Superbugs and Making Friends. 

Meet Sock, the puppet. Sock is excited to go and sing for the children in Hospital with Ms Clown. Sock loves the Hospital. It is always clean and tidy. The children love Sock’s singing. When Sock catches all the bugs that make the children poorly, Sock has an adventure to the cleanest, tidiest place in the whole Hospital: The Laboratory. Healthcare Scientist Bonnie introduces Sock to the bugs and explains how to keep them safely where they belong. Can you help Sock tidy the bugs and find a way back to Ms Clown? Join us for the film premiere of Sock the Puppet, and a make-a-friend for Sock workshop.  

Supported by Healthcare Infection Society (HIS), and Great Ormond Street Hospital.  

La Biotique: Migrant Health and Health Inequality 

Saturday, 4 September 2021, 16:00 – 17:00 BST – screening and live panel discussion — Bloomsbury Theatre Studio, 15 Gordon Street, London, WC1H 0AH 

Please register in the following links: live and online

Screening of short film La Biotique by Rahila Gupta, followed by a panel discussion with Rahila Gupta, Sonali Naik QC and Dr Enrique Castro-Sánchez on migrant health and the global impact of health inequality as a driver for AMR. La Biotique is a contemporary reworking of an aria from Puccini’s opera La Boheme, in which Mimi, a poor seamstress in 1830s Paris is reimagined as a migrant textile worker in today's London, who sings of her heartbreak as she contemplates death from TB. With Radhika Aggarwal as ‘Mimi’. “La Biotique” sung by Otis-Cameron Carr. 

80,000 SUSPECTS!

Saturday, 4 September 2021, 19:30 – 21:00 BST — Bloomsbury Theatre Studio, 15 Gordon Street, London, WC1H 0AH 

Please register in the following links: live and online

A staged script-in-hand performance inspired by the classic 1963 British medical thriller about Healthcare Scientists battling a smallpox outbreak. Brought to life by a combined company of actors, artists, scientists, researchers, and you, the audience. It's New Year's eve. You’re about to go on a much-needed holiday when you get a call to go into the lab. A patient is showing signs of a mystery illness. The doctor just wants you to run a few tests.... What could possibly go wrong? Followed by an informal discussion on the history of Healthcare Science, and the future challenges of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). 

We thank our supporters and partners: Healthcare Infection Society (HIS), Royal College of Pathology (RCPath), Society for Applied Microbiology (SfAM), Royal Literary Fund, Pfizer Ltd UK, UCL IAS, Bloomsbury Theatre and Precision AMR research initiative at UCL Division of Infection and Immunity, and seed-funded research teams at GOSH, UCL, UCH and ICH. 

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