I Couldn’t Do Your Job by Charlotte Blakemore and Hannah Fayers.

Written during the countries lockdown I Couldn’t Do Your Job explores through a series of frank and relaxed interviews conducted by Alan Emrys in the crew’s staff room. He is collecting research to write a play to honour his father who was a lifelong paramedic. He wants to gain an inside understanding of the work and situations faced by the team of five paramedics, in the hope of understanding his father better too. Although their experiences are generally shared each of them explains how the job affects them personally.

Jake Turner in the role of Aidan uses “ambulance humour” throughout his description of his life as a paramedic. In his story about the deceased patient’s pizza, I found myself agreeing with his actions. One of his call-outs was to a deceased gentleman. While he was there the pizza that the patient had ordered and paid for arrived, while waiting about 45 minutes for the police to arrive he ate it. In all fairness, it would have been a waste of food otherwise. Aidan’s a very likeable character who I would happily trust if I needed assistance.

Ambulance services to the vast majority of the population are there on the end of the phone when we require medical emergency assistance. However, the five paramedics openly discuss the range of mental health situations they attend where there’s nothing they can do to help, lonely older people who want to chat and the dangerous situations they are left with when the police are too busy.

Blakemore and Fayers have bought to stage a balanced and fair insight into the working life facing paramedic teams across the country. Highlighting the lack of support offered to those traumatised by some of the horrific situations they face every day of their working life. PTSD can go untreated and the “shelf life” of many paramedics is usually quite short due to stress.

It still feels like a work in progress during certain scenes. Although the cast is strong and likeable and the storyline reflects the in-depth research that has taken place by the writers. Highlighting the lack of support for this profession is important and needs to be addressed by the government. This play comes with a list of trigger warnings, which isn’t surprising as they attend to people generally during the worse moments of the patient’s lives.

For more information on the theatre company and the Pleasance Theatre please use the links below.

Four Stars

https://mobile.twitter.com/@icenitheatre1

https://www.pleasance.co.uk/event/i-couldnt-do-your-job

Ay Up, Hitler! Presented by Gamma Ray Theatre.

Yorkshire, known for its Dales, Emmerdale, Last of the Summer Wine and Tea. Yet, a meeting place used by Hitler and his Cronies to regroup? No, not so much. We watch as Ay Up, Hitler is set “down the pub” with an array of Yorkshire accents, lots of warm beer drunk (mimed) and donning the flat cap. Writer David McCulloch has certainly put the Ay Up into Hitler.

Himmler (Michael Grist), Goebbels (Marcus Churchill) and Goring (David McCulloch) reconvene in a small village somewhere nestled in the Yorkshire countryside as they await the return of their leader Hitler (Peter McCrohon). Ready to rebrand and attempt a come back they feel it’s the right time to put the history books straight.

As Hitler meets up with the newly generated Boris Johnson another role performed by the talented Michael Grist. The audience hears the lightning crashes and whirs of electricity as Johnson comes to life behind the screen, reminiscent of the scene from Frankenstein as the monster in Mary Shelley’s famous gothic novel comes to life.

Blundering and “baffooning” onto the stage waving two union jack flags and mumbling the odd words like “Brexit” and “vote” in a haphazard exaggerated manner as Johnson often does it wasn’t hard suspending your disbelief that he had just been assembled.

Joined by ex-US president Donald Trump (Hannah-Cait Harrison). Hitler is “treated” to this glorious meeting of minds with a baffled look on his face as you can see him questioning, however, did these two men get into power and could lead their countries. Although it’s impossible that a meeting like this could take place its thought-provoking ideas led me to wonder what a powerful dictatorial would make of these two rather character style politicians. Probably with bewilderment, disgust and a touch of ridicule.

Described in their programme as an “anarchic pantomime, in the worse possible taste” it is certainly a fitting description of what I have watched. There’s no mention of “he’s behind you” but there is a sort of pantomime dame on offer though.

They certainly won’t change anything historically. However, the cast offer humour, bad taste jokes and plenty of laughs throughout the hour-long production. Resident artistic director for Blackbox Theatre, Chris Hawley has bought Gamma Ray’s debut production to stage.

Four Stars

Written by David McCulloch

Director Chris Hawley

For tour details please use the link below.

http://www.gammaraytheatre.com/