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Theater Review: 'London's Scars' at Odyssey Theatre

June 4, 2010 | 11:50 am

400.London’s Scars 1 (L to R) Imelda Corcoran, Ann Noble The psychiatrist as detective is a familiar but irresistible conceit, from “Equus” to “In Treatment.” And, as Chris Nolan would say, a mind is the scene of a crime in Richard Martin Hirsch’s absorbing “London Scars,” now at the Odyssey Theatre

Inside London’s top mental hospital, Margaret (Ann Noble) asks fellow shrink and ex-lover Bronwyn (Imelda Corcoran) to treat Mary (Meredith Bishop) a traumatized young woman who may have been involved in the horrific London bombings of July 7, 2005. Bronwyn and Mary begin their uneasy dance, haunted by the ghost of bomber Habib (Anmar Ramzi) and government investigator Dowd (Rob Nagle).

This Coffeehouse Production, played out on Stephen Gifford’s expansive, blonde wood office set, has a brisk intelligence, even when its staging errs. Director Darin Anthony and lighting designer Christie Wright overwork the shifts between Mary’s mind and her external reality, which can throw off the show’s rhythm. But crisp performances all around drive this literate script that occasionally belabors its plot. Nagle finds unexpected nooks and crannies in his G-man, and Corcoran has a bright attentiveness that keeps you engaged with her secret wounds as much as Mary’s visible ones.

--Charlotte Stoudt

 “London’s Scars” Odyssey Theatre, 2055 South Sepulveda Boulevard, Los Angeles. 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays. Ends June 27. $30. Contact:  (310) 477 2055 or Running time: 2 hours.

Photo: Imelda Corcoran (left to right) and Ann Noble. Courtesy of Coffee House Productions.