REVIEW: FOR ALL I CARE (Summerhall) ★★★★
Alan Harris’s play For All I Care comes to Summerhall as part of the ‘This is Wales Edinburgh Showcase’. Written for the NHS70 celebrations, it explores the care system from the points of view of two women; Nyri, a mental health nurse, and Clara, one of her patients.
Nyri is managing her uncommunicative teenage son, a stressful job with an unsupportive manager and has just woken up hungover with a younger man. Clara can’t remember if she’s taken her medication today, is seeing messages encouraging her to harm herself, has developed a compulsive wink and has a list of items she needs to shoplift for Diane, who she calls ‘The Devil’. Their lives connect in expected and unexpected ways through this well composed hour of writing.
This one woman show is brought to life with skill and energy by Hannah Daniel. In the sparse space with just a chair and three microphones hanging from the ceiling, she weaves the tale, switching between characters easily and keeping the audience with her through the twists and turns of both women’s chaotic lives.
Nyri (named after Nye Bevan by her mother, also a nurse), represents all we hope the NHS to be, as she battles for Clara to get the care needs, the financial constraints of our health system are exposed.
There’s an important message here but also a compelling story that’s well worth an hour of your time.
Reviewed by Rhiannon Evans
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