Triage! A Nursing Cabaret

Mama Morton swaps the clink for the ward in a feisty description of nursing life

cabaret review | Read in About 2 minutes
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Published 06 Aug 2017

A nurse is simultaneously the top roleplay sexual fantasy and a highly underpaid member of hospital staff. Zuleika Khan wears both outfits in Triage! – the former likely found in a costume shop, the latter a fashion statement courtesy of the house of Theresa May. Khan is a sexy, sultry sister and a no-nonsense, nutty narrator all in one. This is a cabaret that grabs you by the balls and tugs at your heartstrings.

All of the women in the audience groan when Khan pulls out her first prop, the dreaded speculum. Some of the men put up their hands, absolutely no idea what this instrument of doom is for. To Khan’s childhood self, growing up in a surgery—father a doctor, mother a nurse—it’s a toy gun and a duck. It’s also the perfect example of Khan’s sharp wit as she weaves a song around the plethora of emotions felt upon seeing the device. This is just one original composition of many in Triage!, all of them intelligent, well-structured and emotionally complex.

Being a nurse is more than a profession. It takes over Khan’s life. As she delves into the emotional pain of watching her father grow ill and frail, she pours her guts into the song ‘Holding Out’. This singer-songwriter has a touch of Eva Cassidy in her lyrics – searing honesty and beautiful bravery to behold. Triage! is the culmination of blood, sweat and tears by Khan, a powerful performance with a voice to match.