Damien - a one-man play by Aldyth Morris, about Father Damien de Veuster, leper priest of Molokai and patron saint of outcasts, will be performed by Daniel Finlay, son of renowned actor Frank Finlay, at the Brighton Festival this month, and will be touring the UK and Ireland from late 2019 to 2020.
Directed by Janette Eddisford, Finlay channels the powerful stories of the challenges that Damien experienced while serving the community of exiled lepers on a remote Hawaiian island in the 1870's and 80's, until he succumbed to leprosy on April 15, 1889.
He was born Joseph and received the name Damien when he entered religious life. In 1864, Damien was sent to Honolulu, Hawaii, where he was ordained. For the next nine years he worked in missions on the big island, Hawaii. In 1873, he went to the leper colony on Molokai, after volunteering for the assignment. Damien cared for lepers of all ages, but was particularly concerned about the children segregated in the colony. He announced he was a leper in 1885 and continued to build hospitals, clinics, and churches, and some six hundred coffins. He died on April 15, on Molokai.
Pope John Paul II beatified him on June 4, 1995. Bl Father Damien was canonised on October 11, 2009.
President Barack Obama, who grew up in Hawaii, said: "In our own time as millions around the world suffer from disease, especially the pandemic of HIV/AIDS, we should draw on the example of Fr Damien's resolve in answering the urgent call to heal and care for the sick."
Director Janette Eddisford says: "We are keen to take the play to non-traditional venues, especially churches and medical establishments. We had a wonderful reception at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine last week - presenting the play to an audience of Doctors training to work with neglected tropical diseases - and were thrilled that Professor Diana Lockwood, a world leading expert and the only Leprologist working in the UK, attended.
She added that the company are offering a 25% discount on tickets for members of religious, charitable and medical associations.
For more information and a link to the tickets page - members should apply the discount code 'DAMIEN1'http://lanterntheatrebrighton.co.uk/damien-19/
See a short video here - https://youtu.be/sQherIPCbdU
For those living in London, there will be a FREE performance at Birkbeck College on 24th May - tickets are limited though!
Book here: www.bbk.ac.uk/annual-events/arts-week/arts-week-2019
For more information call Janette Eddisford on 077404 68338