Home / Comedy / Pulse Fringe Festival: Psychodrama – New Wolsey Studio, Ipswich

Pulse Fringe Festival: Psychodrama – New Wolsey Studio, Ipswich

Writers and Performers: Sam Halmarack and Tom Wainwright

Reviewer: Glen Pearce


rôle play has a long history in theatre, but it also features heavily in psychotherapy, allowing participants to explore key events in their life through drama.

For Sam Halmarack and Tom Wainwright’s work in progress showing of Psychodrama, reality and drama mix as the process of creating a play collides with the play itself.

Halmarack and Wainwright charm their audience, Wainwright chattingamiablyto audiences pre-show. Wainwirght plays the more confident actor, Halmarack the more shy, reserved character but how much of that is an ‘act’ and who actually has the confidence?

Through a series of ‘exercises’, we follow multiple story arcs looking at confidence, fear and a tragic tale of illness and accident that brings the piece to a moving climax.

Despite what could easily become a dry subject, there’s plenty of comedy here as Halmarack and Wainwright charm their audience. It’s not a passive viewing experience though, as the audience are involved in the action throughout. For anyone who has participated in improvised theatre, or had to take place in rôle play in a training session it will all be uncomfortably real.

At this early stage, there’s still further work needed on structure and pace but it’s hard not to be drawn into the world of these two performers and recognise all too well some of the social situations they find themselves in.


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