Polio hits Hollywood big screen in Breathe

Polio hits Hollywood big screen in Breathe

An inspirational true story of polio, paralysis and love without limits is hitting the big screens this month – and you can see the film before its full release at four Rotary charity screenings.

Breathe follows adventurous and charismatic Robin Cavendish, played by Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge, Silence), who has his whole life ahead of him when he is paralysed by polio whilst in Africa.

Against all advice, Robin’s wife Diana, portrayed by Claire Foy (The Crown, Wolf Hall) brings him home from hospital where her devotion and witty determination transcends his disability.

Together they refuse to be imprisoned by his suffering; dazzling others with their humour, courage and lust for life.

Breathe is a heart-warming and highly emotional celebration of bravery and human possibility, a love story about living every breath as though it’s your last.

Based on the true story of producer Jonathan Cavendish’s own parents, Breathe shows how Robin’s handling of and reaction to his illness had a huge impact on mobility and access for the disabled.

The film is also the feature directorial debut of Andy Serkis (Jungle Book, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy) and is based on a script by twice Academy Award-nominated writer William Nicholson (Everest, Les Misérables and Gladiator).

The film’s supporting cast members include Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey) and Tom Hollander (The Night Manager) as Robin’s devoted, long-time friends.

Stephen Mangan (Rush) and acting legend Dame Diana Rigg (Game of Thrones) complete the cast with a soundtrack by the acclaimed composer Nitin Sawhney.

Since 1985, Rotary’s key humanitarian priority has been to rid the world of polio. Rotary spearheaded the campaign at a time when there were over 1,000 cases a day in 125 countries, paralysing and even killing children. Today, the number of cases is down by 99.9%, with 11 recorded in just two countries to date in 2017.

Over the last 30 years, Rotary has donated $1.6 billion to the eradication effort and has protected over 2.5 billion children from the disease through vaccination programmes.

Although often thought of as a thing of the past in the UK, there are still around 120,000 people who are living with the often devastating after-effects of the disease in this country.

Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland is delighted to be present at a press screening on 4th October, before the stars take the red carpet that evening at the Odeon Leicester Square.

Rotary will also be present at a special educational screening of Breathe for young people on 5th October and is participating in the London Charity Screening taking place on 23rd October.

There is also chance for you to attend a number of charity screenings across the UK, before the film’s UK and Ireland release on 27th October by distributor STXinternational. Please note that spaces at charity screenings are limited.

 Charity Screenings


Venue: mac arts complex

Date and time: Monday 23rd October at 19.00

Price: £15 (plus booking fee)

Tickets: Book online

Blackwood, Wales – Hosted by Rotary Club of Blackwood

Venue: Maxime Cinema Blackwood for screening, followed by after-film party with three course dinner and drinks at Maes Manor

Date and time: Friday 20th October at 18.30

Price: £45

Tickets: Call 07564 683476 or email bwdevents@yahoo.co.uk

Edinburgh – Hosted by Rotary Club of Edinburgh

Venue: Dominion Cinema

Date and time: Monday 23rd October at 19.00 for a drinks reception (includes view of iron lung and talk with a polio survivor) with screening at 20.00

Price: £25 (includes a drink and tub of Purple4Polio ice cream)

Tickets: Email Benet Marcos at bmarcos@socialancer.com

Dublin – Hosted by Rotary Clubs in Dublin

Venue: Odeon Cinema, Charlestown Shopping Centre, Dublin

Date and time: Tuesday 24th October at 19.00 for drinks reception with screening at 19.30

Price: €25

Tickets: Email Rotarian David Murray

Lytham, Lancashire – Hosted by Rotary on the Fylde

Venue: Lowther Pavilion Theatre

Date and time: Saturday 21st October at 19.00, with Prosecco reception

Price: £15

Tickets: Available from the Lowther Pavilion Theatre Box Office on 01253 794221, via email on boxoffice@lowtherpavilion.co.uk