Marking Time is a brand new one-woman show tackling life-changing news and takes place inside a broken down hospital lift. Tom has cancer and is about to meet the consultant. Wife Ruth, is in too much of a hurry to notice the lift is out of order. She is trapped until an NHS engineer arrives who is currently on the other side of a Fringe fuelled Edinburgh. Ruth is forced to take a breath away from the world. She unravels their journey from disbelief at diagnosis, radiotherapy, to the new results the consultant is about to deliver. Has the treatment bought them some more time? What about the people they have met on the way? “Yes Tom has cancer, but this is not a gloomy story” says Edinburgh based writer Rachel McKenzie, “far from it. It’s about enjoying life and it’s about love. Where else but stuck in a lift shaft to make you wake up to that!”
The show is inspired by the approaching 70th anniversary of the NHS. Pioneering in healthcare has led to life-saving treatments and longevity unimaginable in post war Britain. “Edinburgh’s Western General Hospital” says Rachel McKenzie, who worked as a nurse in oncology there, “deserves their world class reputation. Many people have a story to tell about loss, particularly from cancer, and the importance of hope and available treatment is incalculable”. Marking Time spans the generations and reflects on those who returned home in 1945. Bringing with them the freedom to cultivate opportunities in healthcare. Raising some questions about how they might see the choices we are making today, for the future.
Experienced in spoken word, Rachel McKenzie brought plays to PBH’s free fringe in 2009 and 2010 and has served as a director on the Fringe board. Since then she has trained in Law at Edinburgh university and combines that with her Nursing experience in new venture RMEMME. “I’ve worn a lot of hats since my first job in wool fashion. I use these experiences to write about the multiple dimensions in everyday life. That is the huge contribution the Arts makes to life, to draw it away from black and white, negative, stereotyped argument. It’s what the fighting spirit that started the Fringe achieved, also 70 years ago, and we are still reaping the rewards today.”