Black and White Tea Room – Counsellor (2 stars)

This article is from 2019

Black and White Tea Room – Counsellor

A poorly-executed thriller that wastes its intriguing premise

In this psychological drama, a cop-turned-counsellor (Nicholas Collett) is visited by mysterious client (Patrick Miller). He has a bone to pick with this counsellor, and has come to reap his revenge.

But what exactly is that revenge? What is it he wants? After an hour, it is still a mystery. The slow opening, which takes over twenty minutes before anything is said that advances the plot, makes way for a series of illogical conveniences, character motivations, and plot points.

Even when making allowances for translation difficulties from the Korean script, this play is a mess. Ideas that are shocking and dark are wasted on the thinly-written characters and bland, unrealistic dialogue. Both Miller and Collett give clumsy performances, though they cannot be blamed too much given they had so little to work with.

Whatever symbolism Hyun Suk had envisioned with the black and white theme never goes beyond the character's surnames. Some of the best thrillers are built around claustrophobic power play, but the lack of tension in The Black and White Tea Room squanders any potential it had.

Assembly Rooms, until 25 Aug, 6.20pm, £11–£14.

Black and White Tea Room – Counsellor

  • 2 stars

Theatre Hooam – Korean Season presented by AtoBiz Ltd The world-renowned Theatre Hooam makes a welcome return to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with the award-winning Black and White Tea Room. A counsellor sets up his practice in the tea room of his dead wife and prepares to welcome a new client. It soon becomes clear that…