Tucked away in the Baillie room of the Assembly Hall venue is a play tackling the healthcare crisis plaguing America and asks the vital question, how far would you go to help a loved one?
Written and Performed by Michael Milligan, this one man tour de force opens as the police arrive to question a husband whose wife has died in mysterious circumstances. What follows in the ensuing hour is a comment on the struggle for ordinary americans to access the health care and support they desperately need. Even with the promises of Barack Obama it's still not enough for those living on the edge with a terminally ill loved one.
Milligan is able to blur the lines between truth and fiction to portray the immediate impact on the life of a man who is gripped by grief and raging at a system which has systematically let him down. His performance never falters through an array of emotional high and low points.
Tight direction by Tom Oppenheim ensures that Milligan’s story despite its serious nature is not without hope. Adding to the oppressive feeling of the piece is the choice of a totally pitch black theatre with dim, atmospheric lighting, an effective choice by the director and production team.
This is a wonderfully executed piece of political theatre, focusing not on those in power, but choosing instead to shine a light on the reality of the people are suffering and dying through lack of care. It highlights the flaws in a system which is only useful for those who can afford its privileges.
This is one man theatre at its very best and is something the fringe should embrace with gusto. If you love to be challenged by the theatre you're watching and leave the theatre willing to ask the questions that make a difference then Mercy Killers is a shining example of provocative theatre and production you don't want to miss out on.