By Beatrice Leuschner
The Healthcare Drama Society did not disappoint with their new production “A Bedside Story” – a parody adaption of the musical “West Side Story”. It is the society’s first musical and second production, following up last year’s “And Then There Were None”. The new show was performed three nights (14th-16th of February) at the YMCA Theatre in Cardiff, all of which were sold out two weeks before the opening night.
“A Bedside Story” is a tale about forbidden love, sworn enemies, love triangles and… diarrhoea. That’s right, HDS told the classic love story with a medical twist: “A Bedside Story” portrays the ongoing rivalry between surgeons and medics at University Hospital Wales. To top it all off, protagonist Will is chased by Scarlett, who is head over heels for him, while he would rather befriend shy Emily – a love triangle at its finest!
Medics vs. Surgeons is the new Jets vs. Sharks
“A Bedside Story” is a musical within a musical. This innovative idea, originally written by Edinburgh Medics and adapted and directed by Dan Adams and Luke Murphy, was immediately intriguing. The actors brilliantly juggled two plots, always making it clear which story was portrayed whilst all the while incorporating hilarious medical jokes and puns. The comedic hospital setting was a welcome twist and made the typical love story all the more interesting. Pop songs with parodied lyrics as well as musical numbers were performed by incredible voices. The dance moves were perfectly choreographed and made you want to jump out of your chair and join in. Roaring laughter filled the theatre on more than one occasion. In short, the whole cast shone, both in singing and dancing.
Cari Griffiths portrayed Scarlett/Maria showed great energy, passion and emotion throughout the whole performance. Whenever she was on stage, she seemed to glow. She especially showed her talent, smoothly switching between characters and emotions and captivating the audience with her amazing singing voice. Eileen Muckian, (Emily/Anita) also impressed everyone with her ability to switch between sweet Emily and tough surgeon Anita. Moreover, her outstanding vocals elicited thunderous applause from the audience more than once and may have caused one or two tears to roll. Another star of the show was George Hoult, who played Will/Tony. He was one of the funniest characters on stage and never failed to make the audience laugh with this jokes and hilarious facial expressions.
Everyone who watched the performance would agree that it clearly shows how much work went into it. Actors, writers, directors, the band and everyone who worked backstage, every single person gave it their all. It is not easy to put together a show like this and all people involved deserve respect for their hard work. Seeing passion in the eyes of every person on stage and feeling the joy acting and performing brings to all of them is what really made me love this musical experience.
For all who missed this extraordinary spectacle, there’s good news: HDS is already working on another production, which will be performed in May. You can look forward to “East”, written by Steven Berkoff and directed by Tirion Thomas, and don’t miss the opportunity to see this amazingly talented ensemble in action!