Deuce: A new bilingual podcast drama from the creators of Tremolo
Produced by Illumine Theatre in partnership with Genomics Partnership Wales and in conjunction with Wales Gene Park, Deuce is a podcast drama written by Cardiff-based playwright Lisa Parry and directed by Zoë Waterman, which explores hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Translated by Branwen Davies, there will be a Welsh and English version available to stream for free, to ensure a wide range of listeners can experience this powerful and thought-provoking production.
The 30-minute podcast tells the story of Alys, a teenage tennis player who collapses during the final of the Girls’ Junior Championship at Wimbledon. As first aiders realise she is in cardiac arrest, she is rushed to hospital, where she lies in a coma. Here, she is visited by her late father, Daf, a previous professional tennis player who Alys hopes to emulate.
The world as Alys knows it is then turned upside down when doctors diagnose her with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM); a condition where the muscular wall of the heart becomes thickened and pumping blood around the body becomes more difficult. With renowned professional athletes like footballer Fabrice Muamba and basketballers Hank Gathers and Will Kimble famously diagnosed, the condition has frequently appeared in real-world headlines due to its potential impact. Not only does Alys understand that her diagnosis could spell the end of her own career, she realises that this inherited condition, caused by a fault in her genome, could have also been the cause of her father’s so-far unexplained death.
“Researching this drama was an incredibly moving experience where people shared their stories. It feels right to tell this through audio, which is a really intimate form of storytelling where the listener conjures the images in their own mind. I love the fact people will be able to listen to it on their phones, wherever they are, and can’t wait to get into the rehearsal room.” -Lisa Parry
Lisa’s script, informed by the experience of experts in genetics and genomics, cardiologists and those living with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, explores the life-changing impact of diagnosis on relationships, ambitions and mental health. As Alys leans on her father for support in coming to terms with the idea of returning to her body and to a life without professional tennis, she begins to understand that she must ultimately move beyond the grief she feels for him, while navigating a challenging new reality.
“Following the success of TREMOLO , we know that this creative approach helps the wider population understand the relevance and importance of genomics for individuals and families. This will be key as technology improves, and our understanding and application of genomics increases.”
–Michaela John, Head of Programmes for GPW
Illumine Theatre is a collaboration between Cardiff playwright Lisa Parry and award-winning director Zoë Waterman. Illumine makes theatre with new writing at its core, theatre which reveals stories hidden in plain sight – stories all around us that we are too busy to notice. Illumine aims to encourage debate, make theatre for everyone and reach out to overlooked audiences with our work.
Illumine was formed in 2016 after more than a decade of Lisa and Zoë working together intermittently on various projects, notably at Theatre503, the Arcola and Arch468. Its first production was 2023 at Chapter, critically hailed as ‘stunning,’ sections of which were later performed at the Barbican, London after the company was invited to take part in Fertility Fest.
Tremolo has since been shortlisted twice in the BBC Audio Drama Awards 2023, with Gareth Elis a finalist for the Marc Beeby Award for Best Debut Performance.