WONDER DRUG: A Comedy About Cystic Fibrosis

Theatre (disabled-led, solo show)

  • Pleasance Courtyard - Upstairs
  • 12:30
  • Aug 28
  • 1 hour
  • Suitability: 12+ (Guideline)
  • Country: United Kingdom - England
  • Group: Charlie Merriman
  • Warnings and additional info: This show contains audience participation, distressing or potentially triggering themes surrounding mental and physical health including OCD tendencies, medical equipment, notions of transplants, mimed injections, life expectancy and strong language.
  • Accessibility:
    Audio enhancement system
    Wheelchair Accessible Toilets
    Relaxed Performance
    May not apply to all performances. You'll find more information about accessibile performances and how to book tickets in the accessibility tab below.
  • Babes in arms policy: Babies do not require a ticket
  • Policy applies to: Children under 2 years


Charlie has cystic fibrosis, a condition that causes a build-up of mucus. Lovely. But with a new girlfriend and a Wonder Drug called Kaftrio coming soon, what can stop him now? A rollicking course of intravenous antibiotics set to 80s bangers! Broadway World Top 10 Pick of the Fringe and VAULT Festival sell-out show. 'TED Talk meets stand-up gig meets quick-change show… Brilliantly unique' ***** LiamODell.com 'Makes us grateful to be alive' ***** ThePrickle.org NB Also streamed online after the Fringe for access reasons - more information on show's website. 'Makes us grateful to be alive' ***** ThePrickle.org

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General venue access

  • Audio enhancement system
    Wheelchair Accessible Toilets
    Relaxed Performance
  • Accessible entry: Queue in cobbled courtyard. Access to space via locked lift, please notify venue ahead of your visit if you require use of the lift and ask at Info Shed upon arrival for access.
  • Wheelchair access type: Building Lift

  • Stairs: 20+
    Number of stairs is provided as guidance and is not in addition to any wheelchair access type (lift/ramp etc) stated above.

Each venue can contain several space with different accessibly information. Visit the venue page for full venue accessibility info

Relaxed performances

  • Dates: 16 August, 22 August
  • Booking options: You can book independently online, or contact our access team for more information or to discuss any accessibility requirements.
  • Character Introduction Details
  • Additional information: Information not supplied

Be aware that this show features:

  • Audience required to sing/speak along with/for performer
  • Loud/repetitive/high pitched/unexpected or overlapping sound
  • Characters expressing anger
  • Heavily dialogue-driven scenes
  • Permission to move around and make noise

Show does not feature:

  • Total Audience Black Out
  • Flashing Lights/Strobed Lighting
  • Distinctive smells
  • Special effects (e.g. smoke/bubbles/pyrotechnics)
  • Latex balloons
  • Audience required to walk around
  • Audience required to undertake directed movement
  • Audience invited on stage
  • Performer goes into audience area
  • An intermission
  • Audience chill out area
  • Permission to engage with performer
  • Show guide or synopsis or character list

How and when to make an access booking

Our access tickets service is available to anyone who:

  • Would like to book specific accessibility services, e.g. a hearing loop, audio description headsets, captioning units, seating in relation to the location of the BSL interpreter
  • Requires extra assistance when at a venue
  • Has specific seating requirements
  • Is a wheelchair user
  • Requires a complimentary personal assistant ticket to attend a performance

Sarah A 35 days ago

This show would be half of what it is in the hands of a less capable writer-performer. Educational but never didactic; real, raw and serious, but never indulgently or self-pityingly so; hilarious, but never in a way that makes you think, "er... Is it okay for me to be laughing at this?". And laugh you will. Charlie bravely - deftly, earnestly- shines a light on the relationship between physical and mental health, the particular anxieties and upheavals of COVID-19 shielding, and what a brilliant show The Crystal Maze is. And it's properly funny. If you've been looking for a show to touch your funny bone and your soul in equal measure, you've found it.

May Parris 35 days ago

This is a must see show! Charlie in one hour educates his audience and humanises people with Cystic Fibrosis. His own perspectives of living with this long term condition, treatments, management, navigating his way in a new relationship during the pandemic, brings home the realities of dealing with this relatively common genetic condition. Supremely talented young performer!

Raffaella Sero 35 days ago

Incredibly funny and warm-hearted, beautifully performed: I’d never imagined I could laugh so much about cystic fibrosis, or understand so much about it in such an enjoyable way. Fabulous soundtrack. Such a great show!

Jonathan Smith 36 days ago

In Wonder Drug: A Comedy About Cystic Fibrosis, actor Charlie Merriman talks about his illness and how he negotiated lockdowns with it, while trying to consolidate an embryonic relationship via Zoom and waiting for the drug that might ease his condition. Although in the theatre part of the Fringe programme, it felt more like a comedy show, with elements of audience interaction, music and a game show. Despite the light-hearted feel of the show, I learnt something of the illness with potentially serious implications, and although the comedy didn't particularly work for me, Merriman was an engaging performer who got a good reception at the performance I saw.

Dave 40 days ago

Are you really great description of cystic fibrosis, and all the horrible things it does to your body thank goodness for modern radiation. Really good acting, well thought out and produced. Do you go and see the show, if you have the time.

Wendy Bond 43 days ago

Inspirational performance and revealing description of the impact of cystic fibrosis from birth. A must see show. One for us to remember.

Elaine Ashley 44 days ago

This is my outstanding highlight of the fringe so far (and I have seen quite a few shows). It is deeply moving - informative - life affirming - and so, so funny. I particularly loved all the drug characters - and of course Jean - the faulty gene.

Charlie is a really charismatic and very talented writer and performer - and hope to see him in more stuff in the future.

Victoria Howarth 45 days ago

A thought- provoking funny show which wecthourghly enjoyed. We came away with some appreciation of how a life- limiting illness effects in an everyday way. Thank you Charlie for making us laugh and teaching us a little but of your reality. Definitely a great show to go to!

Robert Hogg 49 days ago

A thoroughly entertaining one man show about determination, hope and love in a struggle to overcome adversity. Charlie Merriman is a talented actor and writer who lives up to his surname, bringing wit and humour to bear on his story. This was a five star performance that left us more than grateful to be alive and breathing.

Ian Knight 50 days ago

We were approached by Charlie and won over by his spiel, but it’s safe to say we weren’t sure what to expect. Would it be excessively worthy?
Turns out our fears were groundless. This is a moving, life affirming show that really deserves to be seen.
It’s not heavy, there’s plenty of laughs, so no reason not to watch!

Aimee 50 days ago

This has been one of my favourite shows in the fringe so far. I wasn't sure what to expect going in, but I found myself swept up by the story and I learnt a whole bunch about cystic fibrosis along the way. It was surprisingly uplifting and funny! Love the 80s soundtrack (which, by the way, you can follow on Spotify - it's brilliant!)

Tom Hazelden 54 days ago

An amazing show, incredibly well written and accompanied by the best 80s soundtrack.
I learnt so much during this show and charlie seamlessly weaves education with heart and emotion.
It's a Ted talk in a lot of ways, but at no point feels like you're having information shoved in your face.

Jane Fawcett 56 days ago

Very good! - can def recommend.

Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.

Broadway World (5/5 stars) 39 days ago

Wonder Drug is a truly incredible solo show. It’s informative, funny, interesting

Read the full review

The Lancet Respiratory Medicine Journal 46 days ago

Pop culture references enabled Merriman to connect with members of the audience, allowing them to leave the performance with a better understanding of how Kaftrio is making a difference in the lives of people living with cystic fibrosis, and humming a selection of 1980s earworms for the rest of the day.

Read the full review

Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.

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Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.