The Theater: Ballet of Death

THE NATIONAL HEALTH

by PETER NICHOLS

In a brief two decades, the young British dramatists who railed angrily at the Establishment have been succeeded by caustic young playwrights who acidly mock the welfare state. Underlying that mockery is a sour nagging resentment of the present sorry state of England. Thus it is no unintended irony that The National Health is set in a hospital ward for the dying.

Death takes no holidays in this ward; it is only impeded by intrusive, intensive care. As one inmate puts it: "They keep you busy here. They even wake you up to give you a sleeping pill."

One...

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