Edinburgh Festival Fringe: Dozens of jellies fill the stage: they’re stacked, red, yellow and green, on a hospital trolley and sit perched on plates on sticks.
ZOO (Venue 124)
They represent us, the patients, who use the NHS. At the centre of them all is a GP, who, played by writer Viv Gordon, gives a refreshingly honest account of what it is like to make life and death decisions while dealing with growing demand and limited resources. Based on original first-hand research by Ruth Riley and Johanna Spiers, the script is honest, insightful and revealing, charting the years doctors spend training and the risks of making decisions regarding health in very little time. “A series of one-way interactions,” is how the doctor-patient relationship is characterised – a reminder of the people behind the job who we rarely see.
Engagingly performed, with Mandy Redmond, it’s great to also find a Fringe show with a large-scale, imaginative set that fills its cavernous space (one that also deserves more audience members). The jellies-as-patients theme is sadly underdeveloped, but when we get a chance to pelt our doctor narrator with tennis balls, it’s an imaginative reminder of the pressures we place on health professionals and the way they try, in difficult circumstances, to cope with these.
Until 25 August. Today 3:30pm.