‘Fighting For Life’ (FFL) is written by Brian Daniels, an award winning professional playwright. How did he come to write it?
“I met Helen Findlay at an event organised by the National Council for Palliative Care (now Hospice UK) at the Palace of Westminster that we both attended. We had never met before. After the meeting, Helen talked to me briefly about The Findlay Report that I was then keen to read. She emailed it to me and when I had read it I understood the difficulties that the Findlay family had experienced when trying to deal with both of their parents’ ill health and social care needs. This realisation, combined with many media reports about older, vulnerable people and their medical and social care challenges, led me to the idea that we should create a play based on the Findlay family story. I also felt it was important to create a wider understanding of the complexities of accessing good quality health and social care for older people.” (Brian Daniels, 2018)
Following this initial meeting, Helen then commissioned Brian to write a play to be inspired by the family report. Brian wanted to delve more deeply into the lives of Joan and Jim as well as the challenges they faced at the end of their lives to help him write more rounded characterisations. Brian met with Helen numerous times over the months to discuss the issues and drafts of the script as they developed. Brian also met with members of the Findlay family who shared their own thoughts and experiences of their parents with him.
Brian completed the script for Fighting For Life towards the end of 2016 and it had its premiere performance in London in January 2018.