It is well worth making the effort to squeeze in a theatre trip this week, if you can. I’ve been raving about this show to anyone who’ll listen, now it’s your turn. If I did star ratings, I’d definitely give Schism 5 out of 5.
Two scratch-your-head stats shared during my post-show Q&A for Schism at London’s Park Theatre: one, less than five percent of the UK population has dated someone with a disability, and two – wait for it – only one in four have even had a conversation with a disabled person.
I really enjoyed Schism, for the socio-political and psychological issues it raises. I also loved the depiction of how an unlikely relationship develops and how the couple destroys their relationship, almost destroying each other in the process.
Athena Stevens’ Schism is a bold and candid two-hander about ambition, power and determination, played out over 20 years in a stormy relationship that is more Machiavellian than true romance.
Chicago, 1998. Harrison and Katherine are both struggling. Harrison’s wife recently left him and he gave up a challenging career choice for a safer one as a Math teacher. Fourteen-year-old Katherine’s school cannot see past her cerebral palsy, so she’s not allowed to take “normal” classes. Schism begins when both characters reach breaking point: Harrison is mid-suicide attempt when Katherine breaks into his home to appeal for his help to move into his Math class.