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Cara Kelly and Patricia Panther in 'The Body Electrician'  Picture: Nicola Watson / PPP
Cara Kelly and Patricia Panther in 'The Body Electrician'Nicola Watson / PPP

Review: 'The Body Electrician' - A Play, A Pie, and A Pint

Written by Patricia Panther and directed by Joe Douglas

Theatre is a powerful window on any world we care to imagine or fear.

And so this week’s offering at A Play, A Pie and A Pint proves.

Patrica Panther writes (her debut play) and takes a lead role in this dystopian satire.

‘The Body Electrician’ is set in the near-future and a Scotland where public healthcare has collapsed.

Instead of the values we hold dearly now, today, faceless managers and funders are the drivers of the future.

'Nicely-imagined'

The imperative in this world is financial results, and not medical outcomes - where a person’s health and wellbeing are second to the balance sheet.

Patricia Panther wrote and stars in 'The Body Electrician'. Photo: Nicola Watson
Patricia Panther wrote and stars in 'The Body Electrician'. Photo: Nicola Watson

The play is set in a nicely-imagined bio-medical laboratory where patients’ ailments are diagnosed inside a ‘Meridian Machine’.

Iris (Patrician Panther) cares for the people who come through the door.

Her superior, Professor Sartorious (Cara Kelly) cares also, but she knows that the unit can only survive if it provides a return to the agencies that fund it.

The play covers one of the most pressing political issues of our time - the future and challenges facing our unique healthcare system.

Panther captivates the audience with her enthusiasm for medicine as a thing of good.

 

The imperative in this world is financial results, and not medical outcomes - where a person’s health and wellbeing are second to the balance sheet.

Review: 'The Body Electrician'

 

She believes in promoting the work of the unit to the wider population - and so helping as many people as possible.

Her boss is more cautious and conventional in her adherence to peer-led-research and data to set the reputation of the department.

The two women clash over the best approach, and when Iris takes it upon herself to use social media to promote the unit, that tension is comical.

“What the f**k is a TikTok?”, professor enquires in anger and to the delight of the audience.

Panther holds the show with her infectious performance.

Òran Mór is currently hosting the spring season at Play, Pie and a Pint
Òran Mór is currently hosting the spring season at Play, Pie and a Pint

Joe Douglas, who has directed eight plays for A Play, A Pie and A Pint, said he was “over the moon” to be back in the West End of Glasgow.

“The Body Electrician” is fun and thought-provoking and a timely glimpse of how our world could be.

'Important play'

The play pulls no punches and is bold in facing the challenges of its subject matter.

Small technical issues aside, this is an important play and one that deserves to be watched.

From the enthusiastic response at its first showing this week, many people would appear to agree.

Our rating: *** Three stars

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