A Fortunate Man – Review

Kölnische Rundschau, a regional, independent daily newspaper for the Cologne/Bonn area
11 June 2019

Dedicated rural doctors and gloomy hospitals

From the proverbial English humor, can be found in the up-and-coming Theaterszene Europa, to which this year Britain is invited. After the opening speeches in the studiobühneköln especially on Brexit in particular, A Fortunate Man of the Nottingham company New Perspectives and the multimedia artist Michael Pinchbeck are also very much in the business. The theme of the evening is a book by John Berger and Jean Mohr, which is the standard reading for doctors in England. The work of the country doctor Dr Sassall in the 60s in Gloucestershire is the common thread in the book and on the stage. With small scenes from everyday practice, the show players Jamie De Courcey and Hayley Doherty transport how much the doctor cares about his patients. It is how he tries to save the battered leg of a woodcutter and wrestles with the limits of his profession. The piece goes beyond the book, also the later life of Sassall and its tragic, rapid end: it takes his life just a few weeks before his second peak. The plot is interrupted again and again by explanations and footnotes as well as interviews with Berger and Mohr. In addition, photos from the book are projected and commented on. These many different levels on which explanations are told and narrated will not get in the way, but they do not really complement each other to something bigger. This academic approach has its appeal, the concrete story of Dr Sassall does not win.