04:30 Extract: Scenes from Factor 9 – For full-length version see bottom of page.
Factor 9: Playwright and Producer , co-production Dogstar Theatre/ Profilteatern 2014. Director; Ben Harrison. Cast; Stewart Porter & Matthew Zajac. Design; Emily James. Composer; Pippa Murphy. Film design; Tim Reid.
Factor 9 is a multi-media play that utilises documentary evidence and the testimonies of two Scottish haemophiliacs – Bruce Norval and Rab Mackie – to tell the story of contaminated blood products. Bruce Norval was infected with Hepatitis C due to his use of NHS prescribed clotting products. With his fellow campaigners he has been struggling with debilitating health and a decades-long fight against government and health authorities in an effort to ascertain why fatal decisions were taken, records were destroyed, and in seeking even basic financial settlements for victims and their families. You can find a press article about Bruce HERE.
Rab Mackie was infected with both Hepatitis C and AIDS and was an unwitting subject in the Edinburgh Haemophilia Cohort, ‘one of the most intensely studied groups of HIV-infected individuals in the world.’ Using HIV-infected patients, all of them infected by a common batch of blood-clotting treatment produced at the NHS Protein Fractionation Centre in Scotland, his consultant Dr Ludlam at the Edinburgh Haemophilia Centre was complicit in a non-consensual research programme to monitor the effects of the AIDS virus to develop drugs for its treatment. You can read a press article about Rab HERE.
Funded by Creative Scotland and supported by Profilteatern in Sweden, Factor 9 premiered as part of the Umea 2014 European Capital of Culture programme and Profilteatern’s Festival of Horror and Art. It toured to Copenhagen and featured as part of the Celtic New Writing Festival at Theatre Clwyd in Wales before touring Scotland in Spring 2014.
A 22 show run at Summerhall during Edinburgh Fringe 2014 was crowd-funded by the public and by the community throughout the UK and the world who have been affected by the contaminated blood products scandal – an industrial scale act of criminal negligence and corporate murder – with no consequences for its perpetrators – which has claimed some 18000 lives and left tens of thousands infected with life-threatening diseases.
An extract from Factor 9 was performed at the Scottish Parliament in November 2014. It remains a moral crime however that while the Scottish Government is seeking to improve settlements to infected haemophiliacs and the bereaved, it is refusing to acknowledge the human rights issues raised in Factor 9, all of which were whitewashed in its publicly funded Penrose Inquiry.
“…a furiously skilful play. Everything works: the timing of the actors, the lighting, the sound and video projections…Be sure to see it. It is an important play about a dark time.” Anders Sjogren, Vasterbottens Kuriren
“Two actors in front of a smart and really stylish set deliver a tumultuous story…. They take us under the skin of two afflicted individuals. And their hunt for answers soon develops into a heartrending sort of crime story” Jonas Danielsson, Folkblade
“…an unforgettable, high quality and hard-hitting play spotlighting a story of national importance. It also deserves to be seen across the world because it dramatises a global tragedy.” Inverness Courier *****
“Factor 9 says what it has to say about a mighty public scandal, in a vividly theatrical style that no-one who sees it is ever likely to forget” The Scotsman ****
“Utterly convincing…ingenious and macabre…terrific performance and inventive direction…Outstanding” Edinburgh 49
“The playwright got it just right….powerful and very human.” Sunday Express
To learn more about the contaminated blood products scandal and those who campaign for awareness and justice, please visit the Tainted Blood website.
You can see a video of Contaminated which was the winning poem at the Belladrum Festival 2016 poetry slam by clicking here.
To see the full-length version of Factor 9 – click on THIS LINK and type in password Inverness.