‘Breathing Country’ was a well-produced, though provoking piece of drama from the Y Touring Theatre Company. It presented many ideas in a very easy-to-digest way, using the medium of a simple yet well thought out storyline.
While it was obviously a play that clearly supported the NHS database scheme, it did manage to hide this bias in parts and show the opposing sides of the argument in a fair light, which, realistically, was no more than could be expected from a play partially funded by the Health Service itself.
One thing that I really got from the play was the near-immaculate research that had taken place. During the question and answer session at the end, the characters stayed perfectly in role, and could even spout off-the-cuff facts about what the NHS database could do. My own research on the website shows how extensively and pain-stakingly well informed the play, and cast, were, with information from GPs, Professors of Psychiatry, and others. The end result is a cleverly woven mix of the more personal side of the problem, as well as the more scientific issues.
All in all, I would recommend ‘Breathing Country’ to anyone interested in the NHS database, or even just in the Health Service in general, as it was informative, entertaining, and altogether brilliant.
Another theatre review, this one is from a different play that we saw by ‘Y Touring Theatre Company’. Sorry for so many in a short time.
UPDATE: A nice man from Y Touring Theatre Company (Mr. Townsend) has asked me to change the link to the Breathing Country website, so that you can get more out of it, and also find the permanent link to the play. As you can see, I have complied. He also asked me to inform any interested readers that “Anyone who selects that link can listen to the play as a radio adaptation and watch films of experts giving different points of view – they can also watch/listen to other theatre of debate plays as well.” Enjoy.