Young people playing oldsters can be jarring to an audience, but as the acting becomes absorbing, that matter disappears into other stage conventions such as watching through the fourth wall. The humor similarly distracts us, such as Andrew Burnap's bumbling Dr. Wally, who can't keep names straight and tries to make up in friendliness what he lacks in competence. (Merely an entertaining sidelight now, the doctor bit was important to the playwright — originally, the play was conceived as a farcical doctor-patient sketch.) There's also Hyde's Aunt Ruth, who keeps forgetting to avoid people hugging her, which triggers yelps of pain because of the medical device she's wearing and also sets off the garage door opener.

Distraction can pull your mind away from suffering, like when a doctor dangles a lollipop as he gives a kid a shot.

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