The director hands the actor a sheet of paper.
‘We’re going to do an improvisation.’ she says.
‘Here on this paper are four different accounts written by junior doctors of the worst day of their careers. Your character has just had one of these days. Pick one of them. And tell us about it.’
The actor looks at the piece of paper; thinks for a while. She leaves the room. Then she comes back in again. And the scene begins. This is how rehearsals tend to run for Rounds, a new show about the lives of six junior doctors.
Our process requires us to listen to reports told to us by junior doctors and turn them into theatrical stories. Now, at a time when doctors in the UK are facing an unprecedented challenge from this country’s government, we hear all sorts of statistics about junior doctors. How many hours they work. How many wards they have to cover. But how does it feel to be in that world day after day? To live that life? Is it possible to maintain a balanced lifestyle? How can you hold on to everything that makes you you? Can you find time to catch up with friends or do laundry? These are the questions that we’re concerning ourselves with in this show. If you want to see what the people underneath the headlines are like, come and see Rounds.