It’s not often you see something where the script itself, the acting, and all things technical are so absurd you question how anyone could conceivably allow it on stage.
‘Beyond Therapy’, was exactly that. Brought to you by Orion’s Belt Theatre, it played in the Town Hall Theatre, Galway, the 15th and 16th of January.
It’s hard to tell if the story could have been any more believable if the acting hadn’t be quite so farcical. I doubt any more serious of a company would have used a play about two people in therapy, one of which is living with his boyfriend while have his therapist suggests writing personal ads seeking women, the other having her therapist constantly make passes at her.
Featured in the studio I guessed it was more of an amateur production so I led myself to believe that the awkward beginnings would be accounted for by nerves. However, every overstated acting tool was used; attempting to self-groom while waiting, purposefully rearranging, the overly pronounced differences in stances and styles of walking. It also took me quite some time to realise that the play must have been set in America, and that accent was what all the actors were attempting. As none of them, with the exception of the Southern Bell, could maintain it for the duration I found it very distracting through out.
Once again, making allowances for the fact that it was an amteur production, I wasn’t expecting too much in terms of the set. But something other than the rather particular purple-cushioned seats of the studio itself would have made a big difference.
The whole experience was akin to that of watching a parade of contrasting acting styles and techniques. Interesting no doubt, but not what you’d ever think to put together.