The Doctor’s Dilemma

The Doctor’s Dilemma is a problem play about the moral dilemmas created by limited medical resources, and the conflicts between the demands of private medicine as a business and a vocation.

Play title:  The Doctor’s Dilemma

Author (s):  George Bernard Shaw

Publisher: Brentano’s

Publication Date: 1909

Genre: Drama

Primary Discipline: Medicine

Scientist (s): Fictional

Source Texts: Jessica’s First Prayer by Hesba Stretton

Character Breakdown: 11 Men, 3 Women

Sir Colenso Ridgeon, Jennifer Dubedat, Redpenny, Dr. Leo Schutzmacher, Sir Patrick Cullen, Cutler Walpole, Sir Ralph Bloomfield Bonington, Dr. Blenkinsop, Louis Dubedat, Emmy, Minnie Tinwell, Secretary, The Newspaper Man

Setting: London

Time Period: 1903

Synopsis of Play: The Doctor’s Dilemma is a play by George Bernard Shaw first staged in 1906. It is a problem play about the moral dilemmas created by limited medical resources, and the conflicts between the demands of private medicine as a business and a vocation. The eponymous dilemma of the play is that of the newly honoured doctor Sir Colenso Ridgeon, who has developed a revolutionary new cure for tuberculosis. However, his private medical practice, with limited staff and resources, can only treat ten patients at a time. From a selection of fifty patients he has selected ten he believes he can cure and who, he believes, are most worthy of being saved. However, when he is approached by a young woman, Jennifer Dubedat, with a deadly ill husband, Louis Dubedat, he admits he can, at a stretch, save one more patient, but that the individual in question must be shown to be most worthy of being saved. However, the situation is complicated when an old friend and colleague reveals, he too, needs treatment. Sir Colenso must choose which patient he will save: a kindly, altruistic poor medical colleague, or an extremely gifted but also very unpleasant, womaniser, bigamist and amoral young artist. https://www.amazon.com/Doctors-Dilemma-George-Bernard-Shaw/dp/1502994291/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1530122100&sr=1-3&keywords=The+Doctors+dilemma+George+Bernard+Shaw

First Performance Date: November 20th, 1906

First Producer: Royal Court Theatre

Performance History: The Doctor’s Dilemma was first produced on November 20th, 1906 at the Royal Court Theatre. A film adaptation of the play was made in 1958 and was directed by Anthony Asquith. Later, the play performed at the National Theatre in London and was directed by Nadia Fall.  

Links:

https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2012/jul/13/george-bernard-shaw-doctors-dilemma

https://variety.com/2012/legit/reviews/the-doctor-s-dilemma-1117947946/

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/theatre/theatre-reviews/9426772/The-Doctors-Dilemma-National-Theatre-review.html

http://articles.latimes.com/2012/oct/23/news/la-the-doctors-dilemma-at-a-noise-within-20121023

https://www.nytimes.com/1958/12/18/archives/screen-medical-satire-shaws-the-doctors-dilemma-opens.html

https://www.express.co.uk/entertainment/theatre/335464/Theatre-review-The-Doctor-s-Dilemma-National-Theatre-London

http://www.britishtheatreguide.info/reviews/the-doctor-s-di-lyttelton-theat-7716

https://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/the-doctors-dilemma/Content?oid=884022

Entered by: Meaghan Yesford

Photo/Visual Research with citations   

                             

August 20th, 2014, American Players Theatre                                         Shaw Festival, Photo: David Cooper

                                                                                                                  

                                    

2010, Shaw Festival, Photo: David Cooper                                             2010, Shaw Festival, Photo David Cooper

 

                                                                                                               

     2010, Shaw Festival, Photo: David Cooper                                  2010, Shaw Festival, Photo: David Cooper 

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