Tag Archives: Gregory Clarke

Super High Resolution

Super High Resolution


Soho Theatre




Super High Resolution

“Ellis’ text is for the most part honest and sensitive in its portrayal, highlighting the importance of seeking help”


Nathan Ellis’ new play, Super High Resolution, which follows a junior A&E doctor as she struggles to cope with the daily stressors in her professional and personal life, finds its strength in a biting wit and well-timed comedic moments. Jasmine Blackborow portrays Anna, the play’s central figure, with sharpness and dexterity. Anna is worn thin by her sister (Leah Whitaker), her demanding boss (Catherine Cusack), and a difficult patient (Hayley Carmichael), in scenes that are equal parts pacey and tense. Director Blanche McIntyre gives these scenes space to breathe, allowing humour to seep into the play’s pervasive darkness and unease.

Andrew D Edwards’ set, in conjunction with Prema Mehta’s lighting design, creates a cold and impersonal environment. In the opening stage picture, harsh neon light washes over accordions of hospital curtains, lending the impression of metal shipping containers. The stagecraft feels appropriate in light of the continual gutting of the NHS.

It is a shame then, that to me, it feels Super High Resolution misses the mark in its handling of themes of suicide and self-harm.

I want to be clear that the production got a lot of things right. Its content warnings were detailed and clear, and the resources it lists on the play’s promotional material, both for mental health services and NHS workers, are extensive (these are shown at the end of this review). Super High Resolution does not seek to romanticise suicide either, and Ellis’ text is for the most part honest and sensitive in its portrayal, highlighting the importance of seeking help. The production, however, loses sight of this sensitivity and falls out of step with Samaritans’ guidelines in its depiction of a suicide attempt onstage. Not only is the method clearly portrayed, but the scene is noticeably drawn out, and its accompanying lighting and sound design make clear that it is intended to be the play’s climax.

In my opinion, this framing crosses a line. The play would have, in all likelihood, maintained its emotional impact without an onstage depiction, or a climactic attempt altogether. In addition, the theme of suicide (and descriptions/depictions therein) seems to be buttressing a play about the gutting of the NHS and the toll it has taken on medical professionals, not the other way around.

There is obviously a spectrum of opinions on how suicide should be handled in the medium of live performance, and Super High Resolution is far from the worst offender. It is clear that Ellis, McIntyre and the rest of the production team care about the issue, and that the play does not solely seek to cash in on shock value. But the play could have, and should have, approached the issue with more caution and sensitivity.



Reviewed on 2nd November 2022

by JC Kerr

Photography by Helen Murray



Previously reviewed at this venue:


An Evening Without Kate Bush | ★★★★ | February 2022
Y’Mam | ★★★★ | May 2022
Hungry | ★★★★★ | July 2022
Oh Mother | ★★★★ | July 2022


If SUPER HIGH RESOLUTION has affected you, the following resources are available; we encourage you to make use of them.

Clicking each logo will take you to the relevant website


You can contact Samaritans 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can call 116 123 (free from any phone), email [email protected] or visit some branches in person.


If you’re experiencing a mental health problem or supporting someone else, you can call SANEline on 0300 304 7000 (4.30pm–10.30pm every day)


Offers a supportive listening service to anyone with thoughts of suicide. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Helpline UK on 0800 689 5652 (open 24/7)


You can call the CALM on 0800 58 58 58 (5pm–midnight every day) if you are struggling and need to talk. Or if you prefer not to speak on the phone, you could try the CALM webchat service.


If you would prefer not to talk but want some mental health support, you could text SHOUT to 85258. Shout offers a confidential 24/7 text service providing support if you are in crisis and need immediate help.


If you’re under 35 and struggling with suicidal feelings, or concerned about a young person who might be struggling, you can call Papyrus HOPELINEUK on 0800 068 4141 (weekdays 10am-10pm, weekends 2pm-10pm and bank holidays 2pm–10pm), email [email protected] or text 07786 209 697.



For NHS workers

Wellbeing support by text for health and social care staff

All NHS staff can access free support by text 24/7. Text FRONTLINE to 85258 to talk by text with a trained volunteer.

Wellbeing support by telephone for health and social care staff

NHS staff in England can call 0800 069 6222 and NHS staff in Wales can call 0800 484 0555, daily from 7am–11pm.

Counselling and trauma phone helpline

Call 0300 303 4434, free and in confidence, 8am to 8pm 7 days a week.


Practitioner Health have teamed up with SHOUT to create a confidential 24/7 text service for PH patients. If you need support after hours you can Text NHSPH to 85258.

Practitioner Health is a free, confidential NHS primary care mental health and addiction service with expertise in treating health & care professionals.










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The End of the Night

The End of the Night


Park Theatre

The End of the Night

The End of the Night

Park Theatre

Reviewed – 3rd May 2022



“The fine cast … do their best to instil compassion and nuance but are obstructed by too many facts and a stilted script”


On 19th April 1945 Norbert Masur, a Swedish activist and highly regarded representative of the World Jewish Congress, boarded a plane, emblazoned with a swastika, from Stockholm to Berlin. From there he was taken under cover of darkness to the home of Felix Kersten, Heinrich Himmler’s personal physiotherapist. Understandably Masur comes with fear and loathing; especially as it has been arranged for him to meet with the Reichsführer to persuade him to release prisoners from the Nazi concentration camps. It is the eve of Hitler’s final birthday; Germany’s surrender is imminent, and the Third Reich is collapsing. Days are numbered. The covert meeting is taking place without the Fürher’s knowledge. Himmler’s betrayal of Hitler is casting off its cloak of caution it seems, although we cannot trust his reasons for agreeing to the meeting.

The premise is riveting and Jason Taylor’s lighting with Michael Pavelka’s design evoke the right degree of trepidation and tension. Yet while the stakes are high, Ben Brown’s text and Alan Strachan’s staging bring them down to almost floor level in this rather lifeless production. The language has the dull flavour of domesticity that makes light of the shadows and the foreshadows that hang over the topics addressed. Ben Caplan’s Norbert Masur bookends the piece with context setting exposition which is mirrored by the overly urbane and polite dialogue that misrepresents the awful details. The fine cast, including Richard Clothier as the self-assured Himmler and Michael Lumsden as an amiable and slightly obsequious Kersten, do their best to instil compassion and nuance but are obstructed by too many facts and a stilted script.

It should be shocking. The denial of the Holocaust – a vicious product of Nazism and anti-Semitism – is a shocking historical fact. But we need more than Himmler stating, in a rather lazy RP, “I personally have never had a problem with your people”, or “I’ve never acted maliciously”. There is talk of “burying the hatchet” that bounces off the exposition so incongruously that it feels almost like a comedy sketch. Yet the introduction of humour arrives like a nervous gate crasher. If Brown is attempting irony, it doesn’t work.

Himmler left the meeting promising to release a thousand Jews form the camps. Masur is not satisfied but, as he says, ‘it’s a start’. We leave the auditorium with similar misgivings. Olivia Bernstone, as one of the survivors of the camp, suddenly appears and delivers a footnote describing the release from her perspective. Dramatically it is out of place, but it does add a touch of poignancy albeit too little too late.



Reviewed by Jonathan Evans

Photography by Mark Douet


The End of the Night

Park Theatre until 28th May


Previously reviewed at this venue:
When Darkness Falls | ★★★ | August 2021
Flushed | ★★★★ | October 2021
Abigail’s Party | ★★★★ | November 2021
Little Women | ★★★★ | November 2021
Cratchit | ★★★ | December 2021
Julie Madly Deeply | ★★★★ | December 2021
Another America | ★★★ | April 2022


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