All Our Children, Jermyn Street Theatre

As much as I champion innovation in structure and style, sometimes a classic, linear two-act play surprises with its power and relevance. Stephen Unwin’s new script, though occasionally a touch overwritten, uses a historical narrative as potent criticism of current Tory policy of dehumanising budget cuts against society’s most vulnerable.

Victor is a paediatric physician and the head of an institute for disabled people under the age of 25 in 1941 Cologne. The nazis have taken over the facility’s operations and it has been decreed that every fortnight, the most vulnerable residents are to be transferred to a death camp. Victor clearly struggles with the conflict between his pledge to adhere to the Hippocratic Oath, and the potential consequences of not following the regime’s orders. Unwell and plagued by his fanatic head of administration Eric, his devoutly Catholic maid Martha and the mother of one of the patients, Victor just wants to get through the day that will end with a visit from the Bishop, who has heard rumours about the institute’s role in the reported genocide.

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