January 29, 2023 · 6:11 pm
A PATIENT TO TRY PATIENCE
It should be difficult to play a psychiatrist at work , perhaps particularly in Finsbury Park the place there are sure to be just a few within the viewers. You must persuade : catch the silences, the questioning , and in responding to your consumer the skilled detachment from their highly effective capability to generate psychological storms. Jon Osbaldeston does a really convincing job as Dr Greenberg, so respect for that; equally adept in Nicolas Billon’s odd, intimate 75-minute play is Gwithian Evans because the affected person, Michael. He’s adolescent, impertinent, dead-eyed and pale and because the Nurse says, he’s more likely to play thoughts -games with workers. The portrayal is of a younger man each intensely dislikeable and palpably broken; as a efficiency it’s admirable however not gratifying. For Michael’s need to trigger unease and irritation succeeds too effectively.
Due to this fact a slight drawback for the precise viewers is that by the purpose, an hour in, after we are designed to get some understanding of all his discuss a useless elephant shot by his Dad and an opera singing neglectful mom, the danger is that we don’t care sufficient about him. Not Mr Evans’ fault: even when Mark Rylance or Hugh Grant was enjoying him he couldn’t be likeable with this textual content.
Anyway, Michael is an inpatient and Dr Greenberg the Director of the hospital. The psychiatrist is looking for out why a colleague has vanished and is uncontactable ever since his final session with the lad. We form of get a solution, after an excessive amount of fairly tedious mendacity and hints about intercourse scandals in psychological establishments. We actually get a deadly last second. However alas, by then each sympathy and credibility are gone. It’s a disgrace, given the standard of performing and atmospheric use of the set, particularly the metronome. Billon has had this odd piece filmed and received plaudits, and the writing is sharp at instances. Nevertheless it neither teaches nor entertains. Which is basically uncommon for this terrific little theatre.
parktheatre.co.uk to 11 Feb