You often see reports about hospitals and the healthcare system having budget problems and doctors and nurses going on strike, and with good reason. So it was only a matter of time before a biting satire on Australia’s healthcare system would happen, and it’s come in the form of Grey’s Lobotomy. With a title obviously a parody of the TV show Grey’s Anatomy, this show is brilliant.
It opens with a great sarcastic song with big fake smiles about being overworked and underpaid in their nursing job, but “loving” their job anyway, setting the tone for the rest of the show. The plays tell the various tales of nurse Violet Grey (Kirsty Gayther), who not only has to deal with the love triangle of her cheating boyfriend Richard (Chris Asimos) and male nurse Whitey (Morgan Phillips), but also deal with the hospital administrator Miss Black (Laura Raiti, ironically a real life medical student), who only cares about profits margins and business objectives over the health of the patients.
It also takes a cynical look at the marketing people who want create campaigns that promotes healthy eating without pissing off the big, mean fast food corporations that are funding them. Their ideas are ridiculous, therefore hilarious. Richard is one of these marketing shysters. It also rightfully makes fun of old real life health campaigns too, playing old TV commercials about health, Two of the main characters, brother and sister Norm (Asimos) and Libby (Penny Larkins), are parodies of the main characters in a series of 1980s commercial for the Life, Be In It campaign (talk about a great obscure reference!). The ads never actually said they were a couple, so what a great twist on their story, and they are also arguably the funniest characters in the show.
There is also a brief parody of the grim reaper bowling at AIDS victims commercial, playing the now over the top ad and having the grim reaper going up to audience members, making them feel so uncomfortable and everyone stare at them. (Though the reaper did unintentionally fall off the arm rest of a chair, but improvised real quick.)
In short, Grey’s Lobotomy is bloody hilarious and the only reason you should give it a miss is if you’re actually sick.
Originally published here at milkbarmag.com on Monday 20 July 2015