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Better Never Than Late

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The play is an initial therapy session between a boy, aged 14, who is said to be doing badly at school, and a psychiatrist.  During the session, the psychiatrist make interpretations from what the boy tells him, with the boy countering all the interpretations and the psychistrist’s problems emerging instead.

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Additional information

Author

Genre

Sketch

Script Style

Sketches

Duration (mins)

20

Male Cast

2

Total Cast

2

Synopsis

This is a one act play, shown on 11 pages.  Depending on how it was staged, it would run to around 16 to 18 minutes based (perhaps nearer to 20 minutes depending on pauses and direction) on what I have heard from a script reading. There are two characters, a Boy aged 14 and a Shrink (psychiatrist) in an initial therapy session, with the Boy having been referred for treatment because of problems at school.  

The Boy doesn’t think there is really anything wrong with him mentally, while the Shrink keeps probing while trying to interpret what the Boy says in therapeutic or psychodynamic terms, as though he has underlying psychological problems.

As the play progresses, the Shrink’s interpretations (? sometimes grasping at straws), are persistently ‘shot down’ by the Boy, who responds with what seems a realistic if not a ‘real life’ account of how he views his world and those around him. 

This causes the Shrink some annoyance, as he thinks the Boy is evading his questions. Eventually, the Boy begins to do a little ‘probing’ of the Shrink, who gradually opens up with relevant details about his own past, including some personal details about his childhood.                                                    

The session reaches the stage where the Boy begins to talk about his mother and his father (who is not his biological father), followed by an easing of the exchanges between himself and the Shrink, and a gradual warming of their relationship, which increases towards the end of the play.                                                                                                                                     

The play ends with the Shrink telling explaining to the boy boy that sometimes it’s better if people sort out problems on their own, so he doesn’t have to come again for more sessions.  But, just after the boy leaves, the Shrink is shown as emotionally distressed (I’ve deliberately not given further details here, which I hope the reader – and the audience – will appreciate why). 

 

Cast

 

Shrink 

Boy

Previous Performances

Manchester ADP (Script Reading), Kings Arms,    Salford,    Manchester 

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