With The Doctor’s Dilemma, Shaw brings all his critical, dramatic and comic powers to bear on the evils of a materialistic, self-serving society. One of Shaw’s funniest works, The Doctor’s Dilemma concerns a specialist, Dr. Ridgeon, who has been knighted for finding a cure for tuberculosis. Unfortunately, the cure works only if Ridgeon himself administers it. In the course of the play, the doctor is forced to choose between saving the life of the talented but amoral artist Dubedat and a medical colleague who cares for the poor. The artist’s beautiful wife Jennifer figures in the decision as Ridgeon weighs the odds and determines whose life to save and how he can benefit from the outcome.
“Shaw is very sophisticated in his comedy, very witty in his perceptions, and then he brings that wit to these very important, topical issues and uses it to keep them from getting too dark. In The Doctor’s Dilemma, the doctors are making decisions about life and death but they do it in a way that never becomes heavy, and with a style of comedy that never becomes lowbrow.”
–Emery Battis (Sir Patrick Cullen) in An American Classic: Shakespeare Theatre Company
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