By day he performs life-changing surgery for lung cancer patients, but by night he performs on stage bringing roles to life that have included an aristocrat, one of the seven dwarfs, an ‘i-genie’, a matron, a highwayman and even a murderous transexual cabaret singer.
And it’s all for a good cause. Richard Milton, a consultant thoracic surgeon at Spire Leeds Hospital, is part of the Trust Us Theatre Company, an amateur dramatics group whose multi-talented members tread the boards to raise funds for medical charities. The company, formed in 2011 by a group of healthcare workers from Harrogate District General Hospital, has produced six shows and raised more than £10,000 for charity.
“I enjoy it tremendously. It’s a complete escape from my day job,” said Richard, who is married with three children and lives in Leeds.
The group’s first production, Dumbstruck, about murder and mayhem was set in a theatrical boarding house in 1960.
“I was coerced into joining the group originally when a respiratory physician from Harrogate was directing a black comedy called Dumbstruck and there was one role that remained unfilled – a murdering transsexual cabaret singer. Guess which role I got!” said Richard.
Richard qualified at Sheffield University Medical School in 1993.
He was appointed to a consultant position in 2007 and performs a full range of thoracic surgery, covering benign and malignant conditions.
He said: “Lung cancer is one of the commonest and deadliest cancers we deal with in the UK. The best chance of cure is surgery as long as it is caught early enough and patients are fit enough. I hope that the future will bring about the earlier detection of lung cancer through screening.”