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Thought-provoking play takes us into a world of a paranoid schizophrenic

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»Reality, at the Moors Theatre in Crouch End, tells the story of a paranoid schizophrenic struggling to get to grips with everyday life.

It draws on the “free writing” technique employed by psychiatrists, used as a kind of meditation and to draw out the thoughts of patients.

Writer and director Seth Jones also takes inspiration from the work of late, tragic playwright Sarah Kane, following her practice in giving his characters single letters as names.

A relatively short blast of a play, it attempts to put the audience in the shoes of Harry Mitchell’s troubled central character, who is plagued by schizophrenia and slowly becomes reduced to being a mere observer to his own thoughts.

The production is poetic and punchy in equal measure and paints a convincing picture of the disorder.

Katherine Beresford puts in a sizzling performance as the cynical, pessimistic voice in his head, pitted against her antithesis, the timid but optimistic torch-bearer played by Rochelle Parry.

A stand-out scene sees a shrink give Mitchell’s schizophrenic, D, the opportunity to open up and talk about his past, which offers a compelling insight into his troubled state of mind and his flawed thought processes.

As the drama unfolds, it becomes clear that D has done something unforgivable. The darkest depths of his problem are explored, as he battles to come to terms with his actions.

An original, thought-provoking and engaging study of this challenging subject.

* Reality was at Moors Theatre in Park Road, N8. Visit www.moorsbar.com/theatre

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