A doctor and a playwright who met in amateur dramatics, are trying to raise the money to make a drama film about the discovery of insulin.
Dr Matthew Lockyer from Walsham le Willows, had long thought the story of the men who discovered the life saving potential of insulin, but were so dysfunctional they would not appear on the same stage to collect their Nobel Prize, would make a riveting drama,
Now, he and Neil Fleming, a playwright and screen-writer, have teamed up with Angry Man Pictures to try to bring his dream to the screen.
The path that led to Dr Fred Banting and Professor John Macleod, with chemist Bert Collip and medical student Charles Best, to discover the treatment for diabetes in 1921 was beset by rivalry, ambition and near-failure.
But their success, which led to Banting and Macleod getting the Nobel prize in 1923, was described by one of their first patients as ‘unspeakably wonderful’, which is the title of the film. Before insulin, the only treatment was a starvation diet which merely delayed death.
Dr Lockyer said: “I always remained fascinated by the stories behind the great discoveries, and there are a lot of them still waiting to be told. The story of insulin, with its mismatched protagonists and the maverick nature of Banting, made it the one I always wanted most to dramatise, especially as the results were so immediate and profound.
“I have always written our local pantomimes, where Neil has often taken the dame’s role. It was from this unlikely beginning that our screen writing partnership was born.
This week is Diabetes Week: see www.diabetes.org.uk