The NHS is being dismantled, patients are being turned away, public anger is boiling over and a cull of the population’s geriatrics has been mooted.
Meanwhile, in the last publicly owned hospital, a famous TV star has bought a Level One National Health Service … service…
Immersive comic theatre where celebrity meets the NHS
Written in collaboration with medical professionals and set in an operating theatre during a live heart transplant, Brave Badger’s new show is a surreal and satirical romp through the privatisation scandal.’
Brave Badger were founded in 2013. This is their third show, following on from Abe & Hans at Theatre503 and The Four Last Things with Theatre Delicatessen. They create innovative, experimental work with a socio-political conscience.
Brave Badger are being mentored by Ridiculusmus Theatre Company and their work strives for a similar level of silly/seriousness with theatricality plus elements of the surreal.
For Adrian Lovett Brave Badger have collaborated with Allyson Pollock, Professor of Public Health, Research & Policy (QMU) – Alison is leading the fight to reinstate the NHS. They have also collaborated with Doctor Jessica Jameson who is studying an MSC in Health Care Systems. Verbatim techniques are being used to channel their words and ideas at key points in the show. These individuals are are also contributing to post-show debate and discussion sessions.
Brave Badger are: Mark Knightley, James Maclaren and Harriet Madeley. Production Design by Lauren Pratt.
Few people realise that the NHS in England has actually already been abolished; it is no longer a legal requirement for the government to provide services on the NHS and the organisation has become, in effect, merely a logo.
The founding principles of the NHS have gradually been eroded over 25 years by successive governments whose members have financial interests in the shares of private health companies. These aggressive, for-profit corporations have been allowed to infiltrate the public health care system and now, since the passing of the Health and Social Care Act in 2012 are deeply entrenched, siphoning off public money to make profit for share-holders. Medicine in England no longer concerns itself with universal health care for those that need it, but instead is now directly focused on profit.
The American system of health care is very quickly establishing itself here. This system does not work. It does not work for the countless members of society who can’t afford medical help and it does not work financially. Health care spending is around 18% of GDP in America against a typical European average of 8 or 9%.
This government is trying to create an atmosphere of distrust and fear around the NHS. The more it can discredit it, the more receptive the public will be to change within it. More and more people will be forced into paying for private services and less and less care will be available on the NHS. Doctors will start to look to profits and money making rather than being patient-centric and inevitably more and more vulnerable people will not have access to adequate health care.
We can afford to give everyone world class health care, but only if we stop selling our assets to international companies and paying huge interest rates on Private Finance Initiatives. A re-nationalisation of the NHS would also, save a vast fortune on the billing, bureaucracy and contract lawyers generated when private companies hunt for profits.
It is a scandal that has not been fully recognised and a narrative that none of the main parties want to discuss. It is a shocking example of greed and neo-liberalism corrupting the altruistic values that the National Health Service was founded on and we think that’s worth exploring.