Theatre Preview: Anchor by Andrew Edwards

Rosie Al-Mulla in rehearsal for play Anchor. Pic: Comp
Rosie Al-Mulla in rehearsal for play Anchor. Pic: Comp
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WHEN Andrew Edwards made his writing debut at the Festival Fringe two years ago, little could he have known how well received his first full-length play would be.

Entitled Killing Time, it premiered at the Bedlam Theatre to rave reviews, garnering four stars from the Evening News.

In his new play, which opens at St Margaret’s House, London Road, tomorrow, where it runs until Saturday, Edwards focuses on the relationship between therapist and patient, and therapist and therapist.

Directed by Melanie Phillips, Anchor ‘explores where professionalism ends and familial love begins’.

All therapists have a therapist. It is just procedure. Rosanna is a patient. Rosanna wants to be perfect. She wants to make Elizabeth happy. Elizabeth is a therapist. Elizabeth wants to care for someone. She wants to be a mother. Rosanna wants to suffer. Elizabeth will drown. All therapists have a therapist. Elizabeth must come back to shore.

Described as an engrossing and eager look at anxiety, desire and desperation for both patient and professional, Anchor was inspired by Edwards’ own experiences with therapy.

He explains, “Currently I’m being treated for OCD and have undergone hypnotherapy myself. It’s a hugely interesting methodology and further inspired me to observe how the mind’s various levels of consciousness interact with each other.

“As humans we spend a considerable amount of time analysing our own thoughts and then subsequently analysing the results of this analysis.

“To me, this represents the core of the play, the endless use of thoughts to examine thoughts; and perhaps the ultimate futility of such cycles.”

Exploring maternal love, contrasting it with professional counselling, Edwards charts the relationship between upstart hypnotherapist Elizabeth Rosen and her first patient, Rosanna Adams.

Anchor, which originated during Edwards’ time with the Traverse Young Writers Group last year, is his first full length piece since Killing Time, and he says he was “hugely pleased” by the reaction that play received.

“Not just from reviews, which were largely positive, although, of course, there were some exceptions,” he says. “But receiving feedback from audiences was a real pleasure.

“To get that exposure was fantastic. It is wonderful to get a positive reception, but I’m still pretty grateful to be getting any reception at all, especially when, in my own mind at least, I’m still just starting to develop.”

Anchor, Discover 21, Studio G21, St Margaret’s House, London Road, tomorrow-Saturday, 8pm, £5,