“Rounds” at the Blue Elephant Theatre

From 16 to 25 March the Blue Elephant Theatre in Camberwell put on Resuscitate Theatre’s “Rounds,” a play about the lives of six junior doctors. “Rounds” seeks to share the struggles of the humans working at the hospital just down the road from you.

Rounds Image 300pixThe script was based on true accounts from junior doctors. Resuscitate Theatre recently shared, “As a company we are proud of the work we’ve done and hope that the production is able to convey to audiences what it’s like to be coping with life, death and the pressures of an overstretched NHS on a daily basis.”

After its creation, the show was seen at venues such as Illuminate Festival and Offbeat Festival last Summer, where it was well-received. Since then, it went through a bit of a transformation during its run at the Blue Elephant. They changed a character and touched up the script a bit to make the show’s punch a bit stronger.

Already having an impact on their audiences, the revamped version also adapted to stay current with the developing story of junior doctors in NHS.  

Rounds beautifully conveyed how the pressures of the overstretched NHS can fall unequally hard on the junior doctors. This proved to be a great premise for character development. There were six characters––3 male and 3 female. Through these characters and their relationships with one another, “Rounds” explored contrasting personalities, attitudes, coping mechanisms and their consequences. This allowed the show to tackled mental illness, gender and race, as well.


Rounds. © Stephen Poole

Running for a little under an hour, the play may have been a bit to compressed for the romances it tried to develop, and its dramatic ending. While extremely powerful, it would have been more effective if developed more.

The play was not so much made up of individual scenes of scenarios, but of a general reaction to the often harsh flow of hospital work. Time was fluid and scenes were well choreographed using physical and visual theatre techniques.

The Blue Elephant Theatre was a great place for such a show. The audience sits in an auditorium of raised benches lined with comfortable pillows in the black box style theatre. Before the show, there is a cafe upstairs where everyone enjoys a drink from the bar before the theatre staff announce that the show is ready to begin.

This week at the Blue Elephant Theatre is When the Dove Returns, running until April 1.

Resuscitate Theatre is a Lecoq-style theatre company based in London. Keep up with what they are doing on their Facebook page.

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