As part of Organ Donation Week (20th – 26th September) we will be sharing the read through of ‘The Starman, The Superhero and The Wizards’, written by William Johnston, renal patient and Kidney Care UK Patient Advocacy Officer for Northern Ireland. The script is based on William’s own experience of dialysis, transplant and organ donation and examines the physical and psychological challenges confronted by patients on dialysis waiting for a transplant, and the impact these challenges have on overall quality of life and family relationships and dynamics. The play includes perspectives from a patient undergoing dialysis and awaiting a transplant, the mother of an organ donor, and healthcare staff including a renal nurse and surgeon.
William has developed his script over the past year under the mentorship of award-winning playwright and producer Shannon Yee, which has culminated in this ‘work-in-progress’ read through of the play. We initially planned for the readt hrough to take place in a theatre, in front of an invited audience, but due to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, we pivoted our approach to develop an innovative online performance. The project aims to raise awareness and educate audiences of the realities of living with chronic disease and the importance of organ donation, and to encourage patients with chronic illness, including kidney disease, to explore the arts as a beneficial component of their rehabilitation by engaging with the performance and providing feedback on their experience.