Six-week Casualty storyline to ‘tackle the subject of rape’ in sexual assault story that producers say ‘may divide viewers’

HOSPITAL drama Casualty is set to “tackle the subject of rape” in a new storyline that follows a doctor as she is raped by a colleague.

Six episodes will follow Doctor Alicia Munroe, played by Chelsea Halfpenny, as she faces “the most traumatic time of her life” when she is raped by fellow doctor Eddie McAllister.

Simon Harper, executive producer, said: “Casualty has never shied away from portraying tough, contemporary issues – and in this particular era it felt especially important that we explore this subject.

“The storyline not only dramatises the devastating effect on Alicia, but also does not shy away from thorny and complex questions about the nature of consent and perception in a way that may well divide the audience.”

The storyline will see Doctor Munroe wake up after an ‘alcohol-fuelled evening’ with Eddie and during a series of flashbacks from the drunken evening, realise that she did not give her consent to sexual activity.

Simon added: I’m immensely proud of the team for their work on this powerful storyline, and in particular Chelsea, who will blow the audience away with her stunning, heart breaking performance.

I’m also very grateful to Rape Crisis for all the advice and help they have been giving us in bringing the story to the screen in a way that I hope is authentic and responsible.”

Chelsea Halfpenny said: “I’ve felt a distinct sense of responsibility for this storyline from the moment Lucy Raffety, our series producer, informed me we were going to explore it here at Casualty.

“I think now, more than ever, it is so important that we use our platform to highlight such an issue.”

Casualty is a fictional medical drama but has a rich history of tackling difficult issues since it began in 1986.

The show celebrated its 30th Anniversary in 2016 and regularly highlights important and challenging topical issues in contemporary Britain.

Chelsea added: “Through the sensitive writing, dedicated and passionate directing, and utmost love and support from each and every cast, crew and production member, I believe that we have dealt with the storyline authentically and respectively, and I hope it helps anyone that is, or has been through anything of this nature.”

Katie Russell, spokesperson for Rape Crisis England and Wales, said: “Sexual violence can be a difficult topic to handle sensitively on television, not least of all because of the number of common myths and stereotypes that it’s vital programme makers are aware of and avoid perpetuating.”

The storyline will begin on screen at the end of May.

Reporter
Harry is editor of the Entertainment Gazette, working on Showbiz and Entertainment news in the UK - got a story? harry.rutter@entertainmentgazette.co.uk