January 1984

'The National Health' or 'Nurse Norton's Affair' is a play that our director and some of the cast have been studying as part of the G.C.E drama course. Written in the late 1960's, it contrasts the soap-opera version of hospital life, popular in films and T.V. series, with the starker realities of life under the National Health Service.
It is also a study of the organization versus the individual. The patients in the ward represent a microcosm of our society, from the crudest, unthinking yob to the despairing philosopher. Their lives are totally conditioned by the demands of organizational routine: their deaths disrupt it into chaos.
The play is presented as a satirical comedy, accompanied by the pantomime patter of the cynical orderly, Barnet. Yet, the patients gradually develop genuine relationships, reaching towards understanding and compassion for each other, until death or recovery breaks up the circle.



Doctors -
Mr Boyd - Ian Farfield
Neil, his son - John Seed
Dr Bird - Christine Sanders
Indian Student - Brian Tarr
Nursing Staff -
Matron - Sian Denereaz
Sister Mary McPhee - Jo Medley
Cleo Norton - Rachel Hayward
Nurse Sweet - Clare Tester
Nurse Lake - Tracey Roche
Oriental Nurse - Julie-Ann Cosgrove
Patients -
Ash - Simon O'Hara
Loach - Dean Palmer
Foster - Matt Boxall
Flagg - William Green
Mackie - Laurence Muspratt
Rees - Derrick Newton
Ken - Chris Whittle
Orderlies -
Barnet - Michael Ward
Michael - Brian Critchley
Prince - David Baksh
Nurses, Theatre Staff & Visitors -
Rachel Critchley
Anthony Evans
Lucy Fredman
Mark Green
Angela Hukins
Derrick Newton
Siggy Rigden
Stephen Rust
Wendy Vowden

Directed by Michael Ward