The New Theatre
When a little boy with attention deficit hyperactive disorder turns up in primary school teacher Dana’s class, he unleashes behavioural traits she long thought she’d conquered. After one too many inappropriate responses to the child’s jibes – force-feeding the lactose-intolerant mite milk, for example – Dana (an excellent Jacinta Sheerin, who co-wrote the play with Georgina McKevitt) is ordered to see a kind but incompetent therapist (a hilarious Clare Barrett).
Dana herself had attention deficit disorder as a child but really that’s only the tip of the iceberg because, over the course of a therapy session, the two reveal themselves – through song, flashbacks and drama therapy-style puppet play – to be suffering from a whole gamut of mental health problems.
For a play dealing with the complexities surrounding mental health diagnoses and treatments, the ending is tied up a little too neatly but these two exceptionally talented performers make each moment a treat. Flitting easily from the quietly poignant to the sublimely comic, they examine how we can push each other towards doubt and fear and madness, simply by pressing the right buttons.