Francesca Martinez's first play hits the National | About similar themes to her powerful Question Time speech © BBC

Francesca Martinez's first play hits the National

About similar themes to her powerful Question Time speech

Francesca Martinez’s first play is to premiere at the National Theatre next year.

The comic – who made a memorable appearance on BBC One’s Question Time last night – will also star in All Of Us when it opens in London in March.

In what’s described as a ‘powerful, timely and characterful comedy drama’, Marinez plays, Jess, whose happy life comes under threat when the government comes calling. 

The play’s theme of being disabled in a time of austerity resonates with the impassioned speech Martinez made on Question Time last night about welfare cuts.

She said the Tory government has ‘blood on its hands’ over welfare cuts, citing research which showed over 130,000 people had died from austerity measures.

Martinez, who has cerebral palsy, said: ‘As a wobbly woman, I really have to highlight the tens of thousands of disabled and sick people who have died after being found fit for work.

‘We are one of the richest countries in the world and this is absolutely outrageous. Even the UN has called Tory welfare reform a violation of disabled people's rights.

‘Anyone can become disabled or sick at any time and right now this government is taking away the safety net that we have fought for collectively over decades to help those in need.

‘Austerity has caused the death of over 130,000 human beings in Britain, that's absolutely outrageous.‘Whatever your politics, you can agree that punishing disabled people and sick people for falling on hard times is absolutely morally wrong and they have blood on their hands.’

Ian Rickson, who previously directed Jerusalem, will be directing All Of Us. It runs at the National’s Dorfman Theatre for nine weeks, but tickets are not yet available.

The National Theatre’s newly announced season features more female than male playwrights after previous criticism of a gender balance in its programming.

The season also includes Mum star Leslie Manville starring in a new version of Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s play The Visit, or The Old Lady Comes to Call.

Published: 14 Jun 2019

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