THEATRE / When the Past Is Still to Come - Finborough Arms, London SW10

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The Independent Culture
This is not the first time that Tom Kempinski's personal neuroses have been the subject of his drama. The impressive Separations concerned an agoraphobic with writer's block (a not too thinly disguised Kempinski); the lamentable No Sex Please We're Italian dealt, albeit farcically, with personal identity crises.

Now, in his determination to give us the 'unvarnished truth' and nothing but, Kempinski, in When the Past Is Still to Come, even dispenses with a dramatic format and delivers (far too many) edited extracts of 10 years in psychoanalysis. The (non)dramatis personae? Tom Kempinski himself (played with a persuasive and fidgety intensity by John Castle) and his psychoanalyst Dr Robert Giles (Ronald Wood as the still and unrufflable seer).

From the couch, in foetal position, and often in tears, Kempinski strips his soul bare even of his most intimate sexual fantasies in his struggle to come to understand his unbearable sense of abandonment, loss and guilt. It all boils down - as is the way with psychoanalysis - to his childhood relationships with Mummy and Daddy; unfortunately, however, discovery does not lead to the alleviation of the agony. And for all Kempinski's touching eloquence and unsparing self-examination, his pain remains impenetrable and his experience frustratingly second-hand.

Box office: 071-373 3842. Continues to 3 October

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