A THEATRICAL performance based in a hospital debuts this weekend.

NHS70: As Long as the Heart Beats will have showings on Saturday and Sunday at the Outpatient Department of Newport’s Royal Gwent Hospital.

The hour-long production is part of the National Theatre Wales’ month of celebrations for the NHS turning 70-years-old.

Based on stories collected from people across Wales, the theatrical piece - which is directed by Marcus Romer and Ben Tinniswood - aims to celebrate our NHS, with interactive elements and specially composed music by Tic Ashfield.

Andrew Lennon, 45, from Merthyr Tydfil, plays a porter and shares the spotlight with six other cast members.

Mr Lennon said: “I am an actor but also have background in the healthcare profession, with vast experience in nursing.

“The creative team have been working on this for a year, so it’s all very well planned and well timed, and our rehearsals on site have been smooth.

“Placing it into that environment makes all the difference, because the cast knows we are working in a living, breathing hospital.”

Each showing has a maximum capacity of 30 people, with tickets being taken not at a box office, but the entrance to the Outpatient Department.

“I think the audience might be nervous at first,” admitted Mr Lennon.

“But it’s as simple as buying your ticket, rocking up, and then we will lead you on that journey. It’s almost like being on set, rather than being in a theatrical piece.

“Every performance is going to be a one-off and the interactive elements will be great for the audience.”

Standard tickets are £10 and are still available for shows at 11am, 12.30pm, and 6.10pm both days, with some still available for a 4.40pm showing on Sunday.

If you need British Sign Language interpretation, Saturday’s 12.30pm showing will be interpreted by Tony Evans.

You can watch the trailer here www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=_1OA2hMrKks

To book tickets call 029 2037 1689 or go to https://tickets.wmc.org.uk/en/production/87745