Beyond Therapy

4 Feb

The title is ambiguous.

Are these crazy characters so far gone they’re beyond therapy?

Or is the play offering a vision of Life that is beyond the need for therapy?

The characters are certainly out there. And they’re absolutely brilliantly performed. From his cast, director Johann Walraven elicits comic performances that are vibrant, energetic, and fully committed to the madness. They’re a joy to watch.

Beyond Therapy

David Hooley and Rebecca Scott as the unlikely lovers are utterly engaging – likeable and deliciously kooky.

Nadia Townsend and Andrew Johnston as the therapists in need of therapy are magnificently ridiculous.

Jasper Whincop (as the jilted gay lover) and Tel Benjamin (as the attractive waiter) take characters that are carefully constructed clichés and play them to the hilt, enthusiastically and gloriously.

Back to that title. Beyond Therapy.

(Here’s a working definition of therapy: therapy is the acknowledgement of our need for support in our attempt to live a life that is both fully conscious and deliberate.)

Does the play present an attitude towards therapy? Is it suggesting therapy is something we should go beyond?

In other words, is the play a satire?

I’m not sure.

Playwright Christopher Durang doesn’t provide a ‘straight man’, someone who might serve as the centre of our responses. All his characters are hilariously over the top. And there’s a deliberately playful meta-theatricality, which reminds us that it’s not ‘Life’ that Durang’s holding a mirror to.

So I’m not sure if it is satire.

But it’s certainly an immensely enjoyable 80 minutes of theatre.

Veronica Kaye

Beyond Therapy by Christopher Durang

King Street Theatre til 14 Feb

http://www.kingstreettheatre.com.au/

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