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The Therapist by Gabriela Yepes

4 - 8 July 2023

How do you look the enemy in the eye?

A human rights lawyer, accustomed to solving unwanted cases, receives an unusual proposal: to organize a yoga workshop for the leaders of Peru’s most notorious terrorist groups: The Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso) and MRTA (Movimiento Revolucionario Tupac Amaru). The men are serving life sentences in a maximum-security prison since their arrest in the early 90s. Abimael Guzmán, Shining Path’s leader, is one of them.

All prisoners have the right to rehabilitation. But how do you teach wellness skills to the perpetrators of the bloodiest civil conflict in contemporary Peruvian history? Can those responsible for such suffering change? To address these questions, the therapist confronts a group of now aged, fragile looking men, who remain invisible on stage. The sheer act of standing there, with the audience as witness, strengthens her resolve to confront her own family history. The Therapist is above all a settling of accounts with past demons. The play takes us back in time through our protagonist’s early years, marked by abandonment, and solitude. A time when violence stalked her country, as well as her home.

Awards: Premio Luces 2019 Best Peruvian Play: La Terapeuta de Gabriela Yepes (Teatro de la Alianza Francesa)

Written by Gabriela Yepes
Directed by Sarah O'Connell
Translated and performed by Gigi Guizado

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Reviews for The Therapist

★★★★★

Gabriela Yepes’ brilliant play, The Therapist, is presented in a riveting production at Barons Court Theatre.

★★★

a spirited and high-energy performance

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