Psycho 6: The Sweet Lie that the Blame Is Always on the Others

Man against wall Psycho 6. Oliver Koomsatira. Photo by Liz Valdez

Developed by Teesri Duniya Theatre’s Fireworks program and performed by Oliver Koomsatira, Psycho 6 is a one-man-show paced by dynamic stage lighting, the rhythmic beat of hip-hop and the interwoven themes of trauma, poverty and delinquency.

K, the protagonist of the play, grew up bouncing from one foster home to the next, one youth centre to the next. The experience of being brought up in ever-changing environments is one that is often synonymous with neglect and abuse. Today, it is well-known among healthcare professionals that trauma nearly inevitably accompanies the instability of such upbringing. Poverty — a state of insecurity which can breed trauma of its own — permeates K’s life as much as instability has. As the story unfolds, we follow the sole character as he is sucked into the often violent routines of a youth gang member, gets into alteractions with the law, before he attempts to turn his life around by unsuccessfully trying to obtain work for a legitimate source of income.

Koomsatira’s poignant performance artfully depicts the struggles of the man trapped in a rabbit hole that one can hardly ever hope of leaving — a vicious cycle of poverty, lack of opportunity and criminality.

The play communicates the crucial observation that ultimately, it is luck which breeds opportunity, a powerful message, as it is one in direct conflict with the false promise that our society tries convincing its inhabitants of when it masquerades itself as a meritocracy. Supposedly, the promise goes, raw talent, learned skills and natural wit will trump pre-established social class and its concomitant opportunities, nepotism and other such factors that one does not acquire, but is born into.

But is this truly our reality, or a comfortable lie to justify our rampant social and economic inequality?

Pyscho 6 runs at the MAI (3680 Rue Jeanne-Mance) from June 10 to June 23 . Tickets and showtimes HERE.