The Pharmacist

Rating (out of 5)
Show info
Directions Theatre
Ingrid Ganley (director)
Jane Russell
Running time

There’s a lot of pain in Jane Russell’s one-woman show
detailing the life and lot of your average pharmacist. Physical, psychological,
emotional – it’s all here, along with row after row of pharmaceutical solutions. But what about the person dispensing the cure? How do they cope when their own world comes tumbling down?

The eponymous pharmacist is a perky young thing, played by Aussie writer Jane Russell. She beams at us from behind her counter like Santa on Prozac, confidently assuring everyone who comes into the shop that she has just the solution for whatever ails them – and turning a pretty buck into the
bargain. “Pharmacy is retail,” she reminds her rookie assistant Frank, urging
him to always try and sell a little something extra to the suffering clientele.
Likewise, when a sales rep turns up flogging a new line in anti-depressants,
it’s the hard-sell that hits the spot.

As a whole, the show follows a pleasing curve: the pharmacist is in control, then loses it, then regains it, with a new perspective to boot. The only weakness is perhaps in the choice of characters
who come into the shop, being somewhat clichéd at times. There is also something arguably rather banal about the cause of the pharmacist’s unravelling. But having said all that, Russell’s performance is a real tonic and will leave you feeling much better than when you went in.