A few days after the Lismore script-in-hand reading of a play about bullying and other abuses faced by health care professionals, the NSW government released a damning survey showing the state’s public health system is stricken with exactly the problems discussed in the play.
Grace Under Pressure was developed from in-depth interviews with doctors and nurses about their experiences of training and working in hospitals. It was written and directed by David Williams, with dramaturg Paul Dwyer, in collaboration with the Sydney Arts & Health Collective.
The play was commissioned by Sydney’s Seymour Centre, where it was performed to acclaim last year, and The Big Anxiety project, supported by the University of Sydney’s Department of Theatre and Performance Studies and the federal government’s Australian Arts and Culture Fund.
Wrote a reviewer from The Buzz in Sydney, “… this is not fiction: the abuses that the healthcare workers face are happening every day in hospitals in every suburb…”
Stark confirmation came in the NSW Public Service Commission’s ‘People Matter Employee Survey 2018’ - see story "One in three note health's bullying culture".
The local reading of Grace Under Pressure was arranged by the University Centre for Rural Health and well attended by students involved in the medical, nursing and allied health training programs as well as staff.
Follow-up workshops enabled students to share opinions about the script and discuss strategies for dealing with the issues raised about health workplace/training culture.
The producers hope to undertake a regional tour of the full theatre production for wider Local Health District and general audiences in the future.