‘A fantastic event. I was mesmerised.’

‘Utterly Compelling’

Audience feedback

The Book

In 1952 three things happened to Proctor ‘Push’ Pulman: he narrowly missed out on qualifying to row in the Olympics; he married Diana. Six weeks later he contracted polio.

This is his story. Push the athlete paralysed by polio and tuberculosis. The engineer who found a solution whatever the problem. Push the family man: physically strong and emotionally resilient.

Sarah Passingham’s intimate memoir brings her father to life. She explores the devastation of polio until vaccinations were developed in the 1950s. Sarah Passingham is a master storyteller, bringing scenes alive in vivid detail.

Push reminds us of the success of modern medicine in liberating us from polio, and other life-changing diseases.

The Show

Push is presented in dance, film, and live reading. Nadenh Poan brings Push’s story to life in a stunning interpretive dance.

The performance lasts 40 minutes. Sarah Passingham is then joined for a conversation about polio and vaccination by Professor George Lomonossoff. Professor Lomonossoff is currently developing a plant-based vaccination that might help eradicate polio across the world.

Speaking about this production, Sam Ruddock, Director of Story Machine Productions said:

‘We’re thrilled to bring this important story to audiences. It has been a joy to collaborate with some of the best artists in the UK. Nadanh Poan – himself struck by polio as a child – brings Push’ s story to life with such power and joy.’

Booking Push

Push premiered at Norwich Science Festival in October 2019. It is available for touring to science festivals, literature festivals, arts centres, and theatres in Spring 2020.

For more information, or to book the show, please contact us.

Keep an eye on our See Us Live page for latest dates and booking details.


Author and Narrator – Sarah Passingham
Nadenh Poan – Dancer
Matthew Bannister – Push
Jessica Pidsley – Diana
Film Director – Matt Kay
Director of Photography – Keidrych Wasley
Gaffer – Edward Bellamy
Assistant Camera – William Taylor- Gammon
Costume and Continuity – Isabel Briggs
Composer – Hollie Buhagiar

Produced and Directed by Sam Ruddock

About the Author

Sarah Passingham writes non-fiction, short fiction, poetry, libretti, performance work and life-writing. She published Hoad and Other Stories, in 2014. Push is her first published life-writing.

Thank You

Thanks to Arts Council England, John Innes Centre, and Norfolk County Council for supporting this show.


For more information, see:
British Polio Fellowship – Website | Twitter | Facebook
Global Citizen – Website |
One Last Push – Website |


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