Review: Nursing Lives at The Spring Arts Centre in Havant

Richard Digance

A close encounter puts Richard’s career back on the musical path

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Vamos Theatre spent a night at The Spring on their latest tour – and it was a show worth catching.

A cast of four, faces masked and not speaking a word, tell the story of Flo, a Second World War nurse, through her life both in that war and some 40 years later as the hospital in which she worked faces demolition. Flo’s memories are boxed in that hospital and she takes a stand to ensure that they are protected. Those memories, of course, are patchwork pain-and-happiness. Flo also has some personal demons she needs to exorcise.

The genius of this cast lies in the fact that, masked and voiceless, you know every thought that’s going through each character’s mind; the lack of words makes these actors’ communication almost telepathic and we, as audience, ride the wave of their talent. When this is funny, it’s hilarious; when sad, it’s agonising.

The cast – Richard J Fletcher, James Greaves, Marissa Gunter and Sarah Hawkins – work incredibly hard, playing 13 characters in this scripted-through-devising piece, beautifully put together by writer/director Rachael Savage.

If it comes this way again – treat yourself.