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Student Reviews


BMJ 2007; 334 doi: (Published 01 January 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:070141
  1. Sara Carrillo de Albornoz, freelance medical journalist1,
  2. Lucy Begum, freelance journalist1
  1. 1London

“Too many acronyms, too many letters, too many numbers……” and there is never an easy way to say it: “your father has GBS-Guillain-Barré syndrome.” This is how Jason Hall's play, GBS, poignantly begins. The emphasis on a meaningless acronym, which can be interpreted in many ways in everyday terms, sets the mood for the play.


Making sense of a frightful condition

Hall portrays the reunion of a family brought together by the unfortunate diagnosis of GBS. From the start, Hall presents a confused interpretation of the condition and at times mocks the meaninglessness of the acronym. This confusion resonates through the lives of the protagonists, who try to make sense of the disease while trying to make sense of their own lives and their strained relationships. The complexity of GBS as a medical condition is juxtaposed to the complexity of the reunion between the two main characters.

A rare, debilitating disorder

GBS is …

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