This TV Play is made available via the Education Recording Agency (ERA) licence, as such the following link will only work via a computer on the HYMS network.
Chris has been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder following a psychotic episode. After 28 days in the care of young registrar Dr. Bruce Flaherty he is due to be released, but Bruce fears that his patient’s belief that his father is Idi Amin, and the fact that he insists that oranges are blue, are warning signs of schizophrenia. If Chris is released into the community he could well suffer a terrible breakdown. The scene is set for a struggle with senior consultant Dr. Robert Smith who sees Chris as ready to leave.
Dr Bill Laughey HYMS: There is a very interesting modern play which is very medical: Blue Orange, by Joe Penhall. Written about 10 years ago it premiered at The National with Bill Nighy in the lead role.
It is about an older and a younger psychiatrist and a black patient who is under their care. There is a whole interesting argument about what schizophrenia is and does the patient have it or can his beliefs be explained on cultural rather than psychiatric grounds. Blurring the argument is the fact that the older pyschiatirst is under financial pressure to discharge him. There’s a lot of alpha male arguing between the two doctors and dodgy careers advice from the older to the younger. There are times when you wonder who is maddest – the doctors or the patient?
The blurb puts it like this: BLUE/ORANGE is an incendiary tale of race, madness and a Darwinian power struggle at the heart of a dying National Health Service.
I rate it as a must-see for any doctor, anyone interested in the NHS, and anyone who just likes a jolly good play.
Part of collection “The Methuen drama book of twenty-first century British plays / edited by Aleks Sierz”