Ensuring the health needs of the population are tended to within current constraints, the relentless forces that power the NHS no doubt themselves deserve a fair work/life balance and appreciation. Often overworked and underpaid, health professionals power through overwhelming work days with little to no rest, mental health taking a back seat and, the needs of everyone else taking first priority. Zoning in on a doctor working on the frontlines of an unnamed hospital ward, Nathan Ellis‘ Super High Resolution clasps onto what is to be on top of your game, in spite of being overwhelmed with the non-forgiving feeling of burnout and feeling voiceless.
Enclosed in Andrew Edwards‘ clinical baby blue corrugated curtained set, Jasmine Blackborow‘s diligent Anna navigates the unpredictable nature of care – an unfortunate encounter with a drunk patient leading on to the meeting of their friend David (Lewis Shepherd), the mysterious circumstances surrounding patient Janet (Hayley Carmichael) who arrives with suspicious wounds, cunning colleague Meredith (Catherine Cusack) who very cleverly plays into Anna’s inability to let others down. Mixed in with her attempt at juggling her social/home life – older sister Becca (Leah Whitaker) the much needed nurturing energy that Anna needs, her bubbly, comical air a reminder of those beaming lights that are always there to lift the mood, Sammy (LJ Johnson), Anna’s niece a sardonic, straight talking wannabe doctor in need of Anna’s words of wisdom to complete her personal statement ahead of applying for a university degree – this a subtle moment for Anna to look back at her aspirational self pre-medical training and remember what was.
Super High Resolution with great detail outlines overwhelmed doctor, Anna’s story. Ellis presenting an intricate portrayal of a 30-something just trying to do their best amidst the circumstances she’s faced with. Blanche McIntyre captures the ever moving pace of working within a ward brilliantly, themes of mental health and suicide creating weighty pauses that stress the importance of not neglecting these dark realities. Anna’s defence mechanism resulting in her operating on autopilot, presenting the numbness that many with mental health issues face, opportunities where Anna talks to those outside of work refreshing to see – understandably a difficult feat to accomplish, we relate to her that much more. A necessary, timely portrait of a being juggling a challenging profession with their own mental well-being.
Review written by Lucy Basaba.
Super High Resolution is currently showing until Saturday 3rd December 2022 at the Soho Theatre. To find out more about the production, visit here…