Production: Patient No 1
Venue: Theatre Royal
Review: Beth Ridley
Rating: * * * *
This provoking drama, set two years in the future, presents a deeply traumatised former President George W. Bush, sent into a state of shock and psychosis. He is helpless and depends upon his security agent to lead him. He is assigned by the government to a psychiatrist in order to restore his health.
Through the destroyed shell of Bush, we meet the writer’s dystopian view on America’s fate. The security agent represents those who once signed up to defend and protect their nation. However, as the doctor probes this idealism, and presents the case of a lost man and a government which does not answer, the agent realises that he too must join the fight, and break away from the slavery of the system in order to save the President that he once believed in.
The production was gripping, due to an incredibly well devised script and an impeccable display of acting talents from Jon Farris playing the doctor. Despite the topic, there were comedic moments, delivered with perfect timing.
The audience’s last view of the ex-President is of him putting back on a Texan hat, assuming the false mask of a Cowboy, afraid to accept the reality that he is really an Ivy League Yankee. The futility of his reign is expressed by a failure to accept his identity and his failings. His demise symbolises what could be awaiting the US.
This is a moving political drama.