Scotsman Assembly, Edinburgh
August, 2002

**** High-speed, high-octane, low-taste hospital comedy-drama

The team that brought us the glorious Americana Absurdum shows in 2000 are back, as quick and sharp as ever.

Think of American theatrical comedy and this is not normally the sort of thing that springs to mind; it's more like a cult cartoon series, moving too fast to actually collect on all the laughs that are in the script. When the President of the United States falls to an assassination attempt, FBI procedural meets hospital drama meets black surrealism. Lines cannon off us such as, "What's a doctor father for if not free gynaecology?" and "That bullet's stuck in his head like a bad Elton John song."

The chief of surgery is a complete screwball who tries chanting Chinese lullabies to the Prez rather than actually operating; another senior surgeon is a glockenspiel virtuoso who's trying to market an anatomically correct Chemotherapy Barbie doll ("Her hair falls out!"); the stool specialist in the basement lab is making a film that aims to liberate the entire African-American people by, as far as we can tell, patronising them. An hour passes in what seems like a fraction of the time, possibly due to oxygen starvation caused by intense laughter.

Written for divento.com

Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.

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