West End interest for Archway counselling playwright

A play set behind the closed doors of therapy rooms has attracted interest from West End directors.

Rosalind D’ombraine Hewitt, 39, who lives in Archway, created the Counselling Diaries – a one-act drama telling people’s experiences through narrative, song and poetry.

It premieres at the Claremont Centre, in White Lion Street, Islington, on January 9, and takes the audience into the normally confidential world of therapy.

Ms Hewitt, a practising psychologist, said: “It started life as a research study – I asked various people their experiences of therapy and it is based on their verbatim accounts. I didn’t use my own clients as I thought that would be unethical.

“The overwhelming response I got was how worthwhile they thought it had been. People were used phrases like ‘it turned my life around’.”

“I think the play itself is an entertaining piece – audiences in rehearsals have been laughing out loud. I hope it makes people think about counselling as more than just talking. It is not a passive experience and takes a lot of bravery to get involved with – it is a voyage into the unknown.

“January tends to be a busy time for counsellors, because there is so much pressure for Christmas to be a wonderful family time and quite often people are rowing and feel disappointed.

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“Then in the New Year they think ‘I don’t want another year like last year’ and they see a counsellor, which is often a positive step.”

Although only one performance is planned initially, Ms Hewitt says some big shots from London’s theatre district are keen to take the show to the West End.

She said: “Because we have a professional cast, some of them have shown the script to West End directors who seem quite keen to do something with it, so who knows?”

“It would be really great, and I think audiences will like it.”

The Counselling Dairies will be shown at the The Claremont, White Lion Street, Islington, on Monday January 9 at 12.45pm. Entrance is free, call 07904 228283 for more information.