The Kabbalistic Psychoanalysis of Adam R. Tzaddik
One Big Umbrella @ The Chapel
2:00pm, Sun 17 Mar 2002
Short Review: More psychobabble…
A stinking hot day followed me to The Chapel on Sir Donald Bradman Drive, a previously unnoticed (by me) theatre, right next door to Theatre 62. It’s a nice little space; it seats only about 30 people, and for this final performance of “The Kabbalistic Psychoanalysis of Adam R. Tzaddik” there were only four punters. A shame, really; this was quite a good ‘un.
First impressions are of a very simple production: two chairs, two people, an (almost) unused filing cabinet, simple lighting. But it is perfectly fitting, given the intimacy of the script and theatre. The play opens with Adam (of the title) addressing his Doctor for the first time, explaining to her his obsession with an ancient, forbidden, sacred Jewish text – the Zohar. Adam appears as a turbulent loner – having spent the past four years in isolation, studying the Zohar and its’ descriptions of the ten manifestations of God (or Sefiroths). The script uses the Sefiroths to parallel the unwrapping of Adam’s psyche by the Doctor, in ten “scenes”, or sessions.
Alexander Jones is perfect as Adam – he faithfully portrays all parts of Adam’s emotional palette, from “insignificant and boring cliche” to wonderfully tempered rage. Likewise, Gertraud Ingeborg’s Doctor issues all the impartiality one would expect from a psychoanalyst – but also displays early frustration at Adam’s insistence on relating all aspects of his psyche back to the Zohar.
I’m a sucker for a bit of psycho-babble, especially when the script is as good as this. A minor quibble – even though the root of Adam’s problem is hinted at early on, we never actually get to hear him say it while in therapy! Our guesses are only validated in a semi-flashback! NO CLOSURE! Other than that, however, this was a great bit of theatre, put on by a great little company – let’s just hope that the lack of people at my show wasn’t indicative, and that these small international companies return.