A review of 'Perfect', a new play about OCD

A little while ago, we told you about Perfect, a new play which aimed to dispel myths about OCD, written by our very own Regional Volunteer, Jeremy Allen and performed by the Saturday Matinee Company (SatMatCo). Having OCD himself, Jeremy was keen to raise awareness of the condition through this performance (which also included a Q&A with OCD experts). We are now pleased to report that the show, which ran for three consecutive weeks at the Old Fire Station in Oxford, was a huge success. With packed out audiences every performance, and some great feedback, we are sure this isn't that last we will see of Perfect.

"I would recommend that anyone go and see it for an enlightening, poignant, and sometimes comical (Gaye Poole, I’m looking at your Talk Radio DJ character) afternoon that will open your eyes to the debilitating disorder and how it affects the person it has a hold of; their relationships and their job, as well as their mental health.

The play is written by Jeremy Allen, who has suffered with OCD and come out the other side with help from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and support groups. Opening with the hilarious first scene with talk show radio host Annie (Gaye Poole) interviewing self-proclaimed OCD-sufferer Rowena (Baroness of Soho, played brilliantly by Jenny Johns) who just *loves* having the disorder, describing how it helps her to be so organised. In a Q&A session after the performance Allen admits that one of the reasons he wanted to write the play was to challenge this attitude to OCD; it is not an illness that we are all a little bit prone to just because we like our towels to be straight, or cans to be lined up, labels forward in the cupboard (speaking from experience…). It goes so much deeper than that kind of fastidiousness and is a real illness apparently ranked in the list of the top ten most disabling illnesses of any kind (by the World Health Organisation, no less).

I really can’t recommend this show, or the company itself, highly enough. I urge everyone to take time out of their Saturday afternoon over the next couple of weeks and go and see it, for the writing, the brilliant performances and to learn a little bit more about a subject that is so widely misrepresented.Sophie Griffiths 

"The play is neatly constructed to include all the material, ideas, perspectives and information Jeremy Allen wants to explore, smuggling in facts and statistics wherever possible. There were some good humorous scenes in the writing and there were some moving moments...Heather Kay 

   

We would like to thank Jeremy and the SatMatCo for all of the hard work they put in to this play. Not only did it entertain audiences, but it did so whilst educating them about OCD and the treatments for it. We hope to see Perfect appearing in other venues across the country to further this awareness.