REVIEW: Health Under Fire at Greater Manchester Fringe

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HEALTH Under Fire, is set to play three consecutive nights at Greater Manchester Fringe, our entertainment reporter Anthony Murphy went along to the first night. This is what he made of it…

Set in Manchester in the 1950s and with an atmosphere reminiscent of a classic Hollywood film noir, Health Under Fire played to an appreciative full house during the first show of a three night run at Joshua Brooks.

The story has a narrative voice that bears an uncanny resemblance to David Niven and a background soundtrack of Miles Davis’s Kind of Bluegiving a contemporary taste to this comedy centred around the formative years of the National Health Service.

At times resembling the surreal comedy of Monty Python, at others, the biting satire of A Touch of Cloth, this play is written with some considerable wit by Nathan Smith and acted by a talented ensemble of six actors playing multiple roles. The dialogue is well versed in theatrical clichés and the parody is carried off with a knowing affection.

Occasionally the jokes fall flat, but such is the frequency of the wry humour, there’s another laugh only a few seconds later, which will have the audience laughing uproariously. There is a cautionary undercurrent to this play, satirising the current woes of the NHS, juxtaposed with its original raison d’etre. How that is interpreted is purely subjective, however, what isn’t subjective is the audience reaction to this play. The ensemble walk off to laughter and a rapturous applause. The story has humour and substance and at just over an hour long, brevity.

Health Under Fire is on at 7.30pm at Joshua Brooks, 106 Princess Street, Manchester on Friday July 24 and Saturday July 25 before going to the Edinburgh Fringe. Tickets are available online.

By: Anthony Murphy
@AnthonyMurphy73

80%
80%
Full of humour!
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