One of the joys of drama is that it can be both therapeutic and educational. In Between The Cracks elements of both are there; a collaboration between The Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds and Suffolk Mind and shaped by those with experience of Borderline Personality Disorder. Given the potential it is therefore a shame that both elements never fully work.
We follow the tale of Linda, who suffers from the disorder and the characters, both real and in her mind, that shape her life.
It’s not easy viewing and, although it is a worthy introduction to those unfamiliar with the condition, is not wholly successful as a piece of theatre.
Part of the problem lies with writer and director Danusia Iwaszko’s script. The piece was shaped by the experiences of those living with the condition but Iwasko’s dialogue often fails to inspire. There is realism in the script but the mundane needs some balance of drama to truly bring the piece to life. As a result while we learn something about the condition, the play never quite hits all the education marks and it is left to the post show discussion to fill in some of the detail.
There are some nice touches – Linda’s inner torment portrayed by two larger-than-life masked figures and some nice interaction between Linda, her partner, her social worker and her inner conscience. This is a small scale production and while the intimacy adds to the tension of the uncomfortable subject matter some of the staging seemed cramped at The Guildhall Bury St Edmunds.
It’s a worthy attempt at highlighting a little known condition but one that unfortunately doesn’t quite hit the mark. The project should be congratulated for the work they have carried out but some work on the script could vastly improve this production.