Doctors with a Severe Lack of Patience

The Mail on Sunday (London, England), January 30, 2011 | Go to article overview

Doctors with a Severe Lack of Patience


Byline: GEORGINA BROWN

Tiger Country

Hampstead Theatre, London 2hrs 15mins (including interval) ****

Becky Shaw

Almeida Theatre, London 2hrs (including interval) ****

The unmistakable smell of hospitals, that distinctive mix of disinfectant and dread, hits you as you take your seat for Tiger Country. Nina Raine's funny, fast new play takes the pulse of the doctors in an A & E department of a London hospital and finds their levels of stress alarmingly high and their cynicism rising as they advance up the corporate ladder.

No surprises there. Diagnoses and decisions have to be made super-quickly, often by young, relatively inexperienced and exhausted medics. Mistakes will be made, of course, and unnecessary tragedies might or might not be averted, but even without the inevitable human error, not every life can be saved.

When a young doctor cannot restore the heartbeat of a woman her own age, she is suddenly forced to confront her own mortality and her impotence. This is the doctor's dilemma: they are there to care, but not too much. It's a near-impossible balancing act.

Played out on a wide vinyl floor between two banks of seats, the action teems with frantic but purposeful staff dressed strictly according to their status in the hospital: overalls, light blue scrubs, navy nurses' uniforms or green theatre-gowns.

Raine, whose direction is as fluent and well-modulated as her writing, weaves the various strands of the narrative with terrific skill. Vashti, a driven, aggressive female Indian urologist, is removing a testicle. Emily, the sensitive, conscientious 24-year-old new senior house officer, is observing.

The jungle of veins and arteries in which surgeons must operate is called tiger country, and when Vashti's patient begins to bleed heavily, the consultant sweeps in to deal with the situation. Emily's first task is to scratch his nose.

The rigid hierarchy, racism and sexism we see are all pretty shocking.'Nurses aren't sexy any more. They're all Filipinos now. Physios are the new nurses,' says one male doctor. Vashti claims that the 'fat, vacuous black nurses' won't obey her because she's neither white nor male.

A much more sympathetic doctor, John, is treating a patient well known to all the staff for his appearance in a medical soap opera on television. John later finds himself on the receiving end of bad news following the biopsy of a lump in his neck.

Vashti's professional composure slips when she discovers her aunt's operation has been seriously, possibly fatally, botched by one of her colleagues. In one of the most moving scenes, Vashti has to tell a patient that nothing more can be done.

It's a brilliantly well researched and observed piece, far more probing and plausible than any television soap opera but also more of a workplace drama than the state-ofthe-nation play Raine will doubtless one day write. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Doctors with a Severe Lack of Patience
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.