Paul T Davies reviews For All I Care by Alan Harris now playing at Summerhall as part of the Edinburgh Fringe.
Welsh theatre is very well presented at the Fringe, and, for me, it’s a thrill to see a play written by Alan Harris, writer of The Left Behind, which is well worth a watch if it’s still on the iPlayer. The play is essentially about two different women, Clara, a professional shop keeper struggling with mental health, and Nyri, a mental health nurse, named after Nye Bevin, founder of the NHS. Their complicated lives weave together when Clara is taken into a unit and Nyri begins to care for her.
The script is vibrant from the off, and both women, despite the crisis in their lives, begin to bond as Nyri realises that the NHS will not meet Clara’s needs. Hannah Daniel is excellent, playing all the characters so well that I can’t think of it as a one person show, I loved the policeman half her age that Nyri hooks up with! Harris’s script brings the tale to a realistic but satisfying conclusion, without ever softening the anger about the lack of resources for mental health patients.
The story doesn’t just apply to Wales, of course, it’s universal to us all. Go see it for a tremendous performance and a strong script, beautifully directed by Jac Ifan Moore.