- Yasmin Sulaiman
- 5 August 2014
This article is from 2014.
A shocking true story about contaminated NHS blood, performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Prepare to be physically shaken by Factor 9. The show from Inverness' Dogstar Theatre – which has already toured to rave reviews – alternately elicits tears, nausea and trembling rage that this true story could ever have been allowed to happen. It tells the shamefully under-discussed tale of haemophiliacs in Britain who in the 1970s and 1980s were given contaminated blood products; thousands went on to develop Hepatitis C or HIV.
Directed by Grid Iron's Ben Harrison, Factor 9 concentrates on the stories of Scottish victims Bruce Norval and Robert Mackie who – unlike many of their contemporaries – are still alive and searching for justice from Westminster and Holyrood.
Emily James' set is a wonderful cross between a retro super-computer and a ghoulish medical lab. Some powerful revelations could be left to linger a little longer before the next scene, but it's Matthew Zajac and Stewart Porter's turns as Bruce and Rab that really bring the tragedy to bear. Their bitter, furious and desperately sad portrayals will hopefully stimulate greater awareness of the tragedy and finally bring some answers to light.
Summerhall, 560 1581, until 24 Aug, (not 11, 18), 1.55pm, £12–£13 (£8).