The Guinea Pig Club (York)
12 October 2012 WOS Rating: This splendid, thought-provoking new play by Susan Watkins, directed by York Theatre Royal’s Artistic Director, Damian Cruden, focuses on Archibald McIndoe, a pioneering plastic surgeon who worked to heal the psychological as well as physical injuries of young, badly-disfigured World War II pilots. Set on the hospital ward, this play is deeply moving, funny and romantic in turn, as intense despair and agony are often replaced with a renewed zest for life.
Graeme Hawley ( The York Mystery Plays 2012, Coronation Street) depicts McIndoe as a complex, enigmatic man, while Stefano Braschi ( Miranda) gives a subtle, moving performance as Rusty Rushford, a badly-injured airman who arrives on the ward in intense agony and despair, on whose story we focus. Fiona Dolman ( Midsomer Murders) and [Anna O’Grady] ( Holby City), as two very different nurses, add a strong female element, while the young pilots’ camaraderie and evolving fortunes to the ever-changing mood on the ward, as they recover their identity and face a new life.
This brave, gripping production, with Potteresque musical interludes from the period, reminds us of the immense bravery and sacrifice of soldiers everywhere, while also providing a gripping insight into the complex but ultimately life-affirming topic of serious disfigurement.
The Guinea Pig Club runs at York Theatre Royal until 27 October. - by Sue Casson Related Content Back to Northeast Homepage
Subscribe to our free newsletter
Featured Editor's Picks
Relatively Speaking Goodness knows why Alan Ayckbourn's debut success has had to wait 46 years for its first West End ... Donmar stages Nick Payne premiere, Wesker's Roots & Tom Hiddleston in Coriolanus The Donmar Warehouse has announced its new season, which features the premiere of Nick Payne's new p... ATG acquires Broadway's largest theatre The Foxwoods, home of Spider-Man In another significant step for transatlantic theatre relations, the UK’s biggest theatre ... 1st Night Photos: Strictly stars party at Relatively Speaking first night Strictly stars Kimberley Walsh, Denise Van Outen and Artem Chigvintsev were among those celebrating ... Matilda on Broadway wins five Drama Desk Awards The Broadway transfer of Matilda The Musical has won five gongs at the 58th Annual Drama Desk Awards... Pulitzer winner : Islam is 'ripe territory' for drama Ayad Akhtar Ayad Akhtar's play Disgraced, which won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, receives its UK premiere ... Michael Coveney: New York honours Matilda with five big awards First blood in the New York awards contest went to Matilda last night, as the show walked off with... Opening: Relatively Speaking, Southwark Playhouse's Tanzi Libre & NT Shed's Bullet Catch Among this week's major London theatre openings, in the West End and further afield, are Relatively ... Young Vic's award-winning Doll's House transfers to West End Carrie Cracknell's critically acclaimed Young Vic production of A Doll's House, using an adaptatio... : Theatre 'flops' ripe for reinvention Ten of the Best Defining a theatre 'flop' is no straightforward task. A general rule of thumb could be that it mak...