Home » Upcoming Events » Exceptional and extraordinary: unruly bodies and minds in the medical museum

Exceptional and extraordinary: unruly bodies and minds in the medical museum

When and where

13 June 2016
Royal College of Physicians of London

Past event

Exceptional and extraordinary: unruly bodies and minds in the medical museum

Monday 13 June 2016 from 5.30pm

*Online booking for the Monday 13 June event has now CLOSED. Please call 020 3075 1315 before 3pm on Monday 13 June or email us at history@rcplondon.ac.uk for ticket availability. Online booking is still available for the next 'Exceptional and extraordinary' event on the 20th June*

'Hold the hearse' and 'The fight for life'

Acclaimed writer Julie McNamara and filmmaker David Hevey present exciting, new and provocative works examining our attitudes towards difference in a society that values some lives more than others.

Tickets: £10 per person, concessions £5 (carers and assistants free) 
Public event (RECOMMENDED AGE 15+)

This event is part of the UK-wide Exceptional & Extraordinary project. A second evening of performances, featuring comedian Francesca Martinez and the Deaf Men Dancing group, takes place at the RCP on 20 June 2016 (tickets sold separately).

Access provision: BSL interpreter, audio description, captioned, speech to text (Q+A). The project team will lead an audio described touch tour of the set at 6pm.

If you experience any issues with our new online booking system, please email history@rcplondon.ac.uk and we will be able to help.


  • 5.30pm: Reception drinks and a chance to view our museum collections and award-winning 'Re-framing disability' exhibition.
  • 6.30pm:
    • Julie McNamara, 'Hold the hearse!' – An interactive, extraordinary theatrical journey through a myriad of museum collections that have impacted on the lives of the Mad, the Bad and the Unruly in our midst.
    • David Hevey, 'The fight for life' – In this powerful, unsettling and provocative film, David Hevey examines the hostile and uncertain world in which many disabled people find themselves.
    • Q&A with the artists

About the artists

Julie McNamara is an award-winning playwright and theatre-maker whose work investigates the stories of voices hidden in the margins of our communities. Artistic director of Vital Xposure, her work is renowned for its strong narratives and bold visual aesthetic that places access at the heart of the story. An activist in disability arts, and a vociferous spokeswoman for mental health system survivors, she describes herself as 'A mad woman made good'.

The Huffington Post recently described David Hevey as ‘one of the leading documentary makers of a generation’. His premise is simple: good stories, well told, with a purpose, to create impactful, compelling reflections about the way we live now. David uses journalism, performance, documentary, sung-narration and other devices to take the viewer deeper into understanding and feeling stories about our world now. His work is characterised by his inclusive approach, including engagement of and working with people and stories from the margins. He wrote The Creatures Time Forgot: Photography & Disability Representation (Routledge), produced and directed the BBC series The Disabled Century (2012), and has directed three BBC TV Modern Times documentaries.

Access information

The Royal College of Physicians' Grade I listed building has step-free access to all areas via central lifts, an internal glass lift and side entrances. Due to the number of steps within the building, step-free access can involve taking alternative routes. Full directional information will be provided on arrival.

Please contact history@rcplondon.ac.uk or call +44 (0)20 3075 1543 in advance to discuss your access requirements.

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