Monday, September 23, 2019
The Doctor @ Almeida Theatre...
Based up on Arthur Schnitzer's Professor Bernhardi it has been freely adapted and directed here by Robert Icke.
The play stars Juliet Stevenson as a rather pompous doctor working in an institute who denies a Catholic priest access to a dying patient to conduct last rites.
The play then centres around three things - the rights and wrongs of that decision, the power politics at the institution, and the general conflict between medicine and religion as played out in the court of public opinion - especially on social media.
The play also toys with we, the audience's, own biases and expectations. There are dramatic twists aplenty - not least in the colour-blind casting and gender-blind casting.
The whole cast are excellent - the tension throughout is palpable - although the fight between religion and medicine perhaps seems a little stale these days in the UK. That said, it probably speaks volumes to the pro-choice/pro-life conflict that continues on the other side of the Atlantic.
West End transfer ahoy!