Theatre review: Between Us at the Arcola Theatre
PUBLISHED: 05:56 05 June 2014
This 75 min bite sized guilt ridden piece provides a fly on the wall experience of Julia's practice with patients Dave and Teresa, then follows her private life where we learn that a therapist's work is never done.
A therapist by day and stand up comedienne by night Julia (Charlotte Cornwell) is the centrepoint around which proud new father Dave (Callum Dixon) and adoptive parent Teresa and adopted child Kath, (both played by Georgina Rich) revolve.
As we become the audience of Julia’s stand up show, playwright Sarah Daniels’ feminist agenda is present with each story starting with larger, bold comments in order to generate laughter, then shrinking to a more drained performance, reflecting the energy levels required to keep up the illusion that everything is alright.
Daniels unleashes class-based barbs which strike home at the now comfortable E8 audience, but Rich’s adoptive parent, well-heeled Teresa, is particularly moving; discovering that love is not always enough and failure is part of life.
Within the confines of the Therapists’ room - a soft chair and essential tissues on a raised platform - the audience is drawn into the intimate overlapping and interlinking stories of the characters.
Daniels prompts the audience to ask what love really means, how guilt can wreak personal changes, and how sexism has and hasn’t changed since the 1970s. Providing a darkly comic glimpse into the lives of its protagonists, it forcefully questions how our lives are affected by earlier decisions and events - leaving just as a therapist would, the audience in search of its own answer.
Rating: Three stars