Doctors don’t listen, doctors keep us waiting, doctors work too hard or not hard enough … What is going on in The Eternity Waiting Room of the Parkside General Practice operated by GP The Musical?
There are lessons to be learnt here, insights to be made, but whom to believe: the patient extolling the virtues of the naturopath or the doctor debunking them? Is for real or just a great big spoof? Well, to find out, you’ll just have to go along and be prepared for the talents of a group of real GPs who, with a little soft shoe shuffle, attempt to gain some relief from the trials of general practice.
This could not have been an easy task as, having succeeded at auditions, the final cast of ten came from as far afield as Daylesford, Lakes Entrance, Sydney, Canberra and Byron Bay. Coordinated by playwright Dr Genevieve Yates and co-writer Dr Gerard Ingham, one can only hope their patients weren’t actually being neglected in the process, as illustrated in the songs, ‘You Don’t Listen to a Thing I Say’ and ‘Stop Your Complaining’.
According to the musical, some patients find the waiting time intolerable, while others, it seems, treat it like a second home using doctors as confidantes with time to spare to listen to endless grievances and “tears and smears.”
Each episode is illustrated with a song and dance routine, with some catchy numbers like “I’d Like to See You One More Time” danced in top hat and tails, Fred Astaire style, by the disreputable Dr White, aka Dr Edmund Poliness from Geelong.
But where the major belly laugh or the 150 adult audience emanated from? Age shall not weary poo jokes and the more the character, Nigel Black, illuminated his carefully documented bowel motions, the more we laughed. So much for sophisticated Melbourne, but perhaps more of the same, to wit, Billy Connolly’s hilarious depiction of the prostate examination, would have added even more hysteria to this production which erred, if anything, on the conservative side.