- Gareth K Vile
- 3 August 2018
OCD is placed under the spotlight
Based on the experiences of writer Lucy Burke, WEIRD is a heartfelt appeal for greater understanding that weaves the symptoms and behaviour of obsessive compulsive disorder into a familiar coming-of-age narrative. Yasmin, returning from university, finds herself the subject of family discomfort, pity and frustration while struggling to reconcile the consequences of her OCD and a personal tragedy.
A fast-paced monologue, Burke's script details the thoughts and compulsions of Yasmin without resorting to simplistic stereotypes: Yasmin counts, obsesses and struggles with typical teenage adventures in sex and friendship. A chance encounter with a former school bully disorientates her, her mother's attitude upsets her but it is an attempt to reconcile with her sister that pushes her to the edge.
The narrative packs in a considerable amount of action, giving the character too many dramatic incidents and suggesting that the personal tragedy encouraged an episode of OCD, and the rush of information is, appropriately, disorientating and frustrating. Yasmin herself is sympathetic, but the production plays safe, moving between episodes with sound interludes and heading towards a predictable finale that offers an ambiguous hope. While the message of compassion towards others and the self is eloquent and positive, the restraints of the format don't allow the ideas and performance to fully develop the emotive moments.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 27 Aug (not 14), 1.45pm, £10–£12 (£9–£11).