A play to save the NHS
We are making a new play about money, the NHS and the adventures of an irrepressible TV star who risks it all for one more shot at glory!
The NHS is being dismantled, patients are being turned away, public anger is boiling over and a cull of the population's geriatrics has been mooted.
TV personality, Adrian Lovett, however, is happily enjoying a top tier, Level One National Health Service...service.
He needs a heart transplant and has seized upon the opportunity to broadcast the operation live in a desperate attempt to boost his flagging career.
A selected audience will also be allowed into the operating theatre to experience this new NHS and Adrian's drunken romp through it as we explore the shiny world of a Nationally Outsourced Health Service.
The Reason Why
Few people realise that the NHS in England has already been effectively abolished; it is no longer a legal requirement for the government to provide services on the NHS and the organisation has arguably become little more than a logo.
The founding principles of the NHS have been gradually eroded over 25 years by successive governments whose members have financial interests in the shares of private health companies. These aggressive, for-profit corporations have been allowed to infiltrate the public health care system and now, since the passing of the Health and Social Care Act in 2012, are deeply entrenched: siphoning off public money to make profit for shareholders. Medicine in England no longer concerns itself with universal health care for those that need it, but instead is now directly focused on profit.
The American system of health care is very quickly establishing itself here. This system does not work. It does not work for the countless members of society who can't afford medical help and it does not work financially. Health care spending is around 18% of GDP in America against a typical European average of 8 or 9%.
This government is trying to create an atmosphere of distrust and fear around the NHS. The more it can discredit it, the more receptive the public will be to change within it. More and more people will be forced into paying for private services and less and less care will be available on the NHS. Doctors will start to look to profits and money making rather than being patient-centric and inevitably more and more vulnerable people will not have access to adequate health care.
We can afford to give everyone world class health care, but only if we stop selling our assets to international companies and paying huge interest rates on Private Finance Initiatives. A re-nationalisation of the NHS would also save a vast fortune on the billing, bureaucracy and contract lawyers, generated when private companies hunt for profits.
This is a scandal that has not been fully recognised and a narrative that none of the main parties want to discuss. It is a shocking example of greed and neo-liberalism corrupting the altruistic values that the National Health Service was founded on and we think that's worth exploring.
We were founded in 2013 and this is our third show, following on from 'Abe & Hans' at Theatre503 and 'The Four Last Things' at Theatre Delicatessen. We can also be seen performing a new idea on the 30th March at the BAC Scratch Night.
We create innovative, experimental work with a socio-political conscience.
This show is a co-production with Theatre Delicatessen, who were profiled by the Observer as 'Bright Young Things who are changing British Theatre'
We are being mentored by the acclaimed Ridiculusmus Theatre Company who have been 'Making seriously silly theatre for over 20 years'
We have script advice from medical professionals including the renowned Professor Allyson Pollock who is delivering a post-show talk on the 29th April and providing verbatim input into the text.
Here's an example of our personalised mug reward! Yours for £20. Can you imagine, your own mug? What would you do with yours? Let us know on Facebook
Risks and challenges
Our two main objectives are to engage the medical community and have an impact on the NHS privatisation debate.
To achieve the first we want to create pop-up theatre box offices in hospitals selling discounted theatre tickets to staff, to engage with medical publications such as the BMJ and to attend conferences and debates about the future of the NHS. These activities will take up a huge amount of time on top of the usual business of producing a play and it is something that we are going to have to be careful to put aside time for.
To achieve the second we want to promote Allyson Pollock's NHS Reinstatement Bill, to help promote the ideas and secure signatures.
Despite our strong beliefs on the dangers of privatisation, we are keen not to create didactic or propagandistic theatre - our show will ultimately be about human beings and how they might reasonably and accidentally get themselves into a position that they hadn't seen coming. We want to create an honest investigation into the best way forward for the health system and allow audiences to make their own minds up.
And finally, as with all medical dramas, we have to get our facts right. The play involves live, open heart surgery, this has to be believable and accurate. To that end we are working closely with Dr Jessica Jameson, a doctor currently studying an MSC in health policy and structures who has surgical experience. She will be involved every step of the way.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)