The National Health

by Peter Nichols

directed by Peter White

Performed at the

Nuffield Theatre


Tuesday 21st to Saturday 25th June 1977

Peter Nichols writes to the producer of the play:

I needn't tell you, I'm sure, that this piece is neither an attack on nor a defence of the Health Service.  When I told this to some journalist in an interview, before the play opened, he added to my words: Not intentionally anyway.  Only the title leads people to expect it, but, of course, I meant that to refer to the health of the nation.

The other actors should not take their cue from Barnet, who is not my mouthpiece.  He is a man who puts everything at its lowest value.  He survives, he's funny, but he misses the point ...

I am only too aware that Barnet doesn't do much to praise the Health Service or attack Private Medicine but the play isn't about that anyway and I'm only anxious to prevent people using it as Right Wing propaganda ...

Please feel free to make clear in programmes and press releases that the play isn't an attack on Medicare or Socialism or any other sensible undertaking.  I take it for granted that any decent community would want its resources to be shared - whether they're hospitals, libraries, parks, universities, houses, milk, old masters or fresh slamon - and inasmuch as we fail to share them, we fail to be respectable.  But you can see how difficult it is to say that in a play without getting egg on your face.  The emphasis might be on the fact that the play's called The National Health, not The National Health Service.

Rees David Bartlett
Tyler David Jupp
Ash David Pike
Foster Ken Hann
Ken Tony Lawther
Flagg Brian Whitaker
Loach Graham Buchanan
Mackie Peter Johnson
Matron Avril Woodward
Sister Joan Johnson
Staff Nurse Norton Merry Duxbury
Nurse Sweet Linda Peake
Nurse Lake Pat Nurse
Barnet John Carrington
Michael Steve Lange
Mr Boyd Ken Spencer
Neil, his son Brian Stansbridge
Dr. Bird Nikki Baker
Indian Student Geoff Wharam
Old woman Ena Hamon
Chaplain Alan Newell
Audrey Whitaker, Meri Lawther, Sheila Clark, Lilian gunstone, Mollie Manns, Monty Rose, Clive Weeks.


For the Maskers:  
Director Peter White
Set Design Peter White
Set Construction Alan Baker, John Riggs, Ron Tillyer, The Maskers
Decor Ken Spencer
Lighting Designer Derek Jones
Lighting operators Ivan White, Roger Lockett
Sound John Duxbury
Props Joy Wingfield, Gillian Roberts, Sue Hughes, Mike Johnson, Derek Sealey
Production Assistant Avril Woodward
Stage Manager Keith Hooper
Publicity Graham Buchanan
Art Work John Hamon
Business Manager Brian Stansbridge



click on a photo to enlarge it

Nikki Baker??, Brian Whittaker, Brian Stansbridge
David Pike
Merry Duxberry
Linda Peake?? and John Carrington Snr
Brian Whitaker and Brian Stansbridge
Peter Johnson as Mackie
David Jupp, Brian Whitaker, Peter Johnson, Ken Hann, David Pike
Pete Johnson and Pat Nurse - Pat was actually a real nurse and made the Echo as 'Nurse is a nurse playing a nurse'
Linda Peake as Nurse Sweet, Tony Lawther as Ken

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Shirley's own LOCAL theatre!

Maskers Theatre Company
Off Emsworth Road
SO15 3LX

Registered Charity 900067

Established 1968

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