Theo, played by Satbir Singh, is a successful doctor, very posh and very arrogant, a proper old-school alpha male. He returns to London from a Mediterranean town, where he has managed to cure the population of a virulent flu-like disease. He is the conquering hero and the darling of the press, but there is a dark secret behind his medical triumph, something to do with Arcelia (Jane Elliot-Kelly) his new squeeze from the infected town.
Theo has also abandoned his second wife, the beautiful but bed-ridden Phoebe (Corinne Sawers), and left her in the care of his son Horatio (Patrick Netherton). As Theo prepares to leave London again, Horatio and his step-mother start to grow closer…
Make Him Cure Me has the chilly, vicious feel of classical drama. You wouldn’t want to go for a drink with any of the characters, but they are engaging, and I was held by the compellingly awful trajectory of the drama. The play has many modern resonances, none of them very wholesome. It made me think of Hwang Woo-Suk, the South Korean doctor who was celebrated for his ground-breaking cloning work, only to be exposed as a fake who had fabricated his research. Even worse, it reminded me of the stories of horrible myths that have grown up in certain countries about what can cure AIDS. The play’s take on sexual politics seems oddly dated, but this may be a deliberate comment on the macho world of medicine.
The acting is all very accomplished, but most impressive is Corinne Sawers, whose Phoebe comes on like a consumptive Mrs Robinson. There are also some nice, evocative touches in the direction.
Make Him Cure Me is an impressive, original play by a young writer; a great little nugget of nastiness.