Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Edinburgh 2012: Mess

Anorexia is as much about comfort as it is about control - it can envelop like an eiderdown. This new show by Caroline Horton - winner of The Stage award for Best Solo Show in 2010 - doesn't tiptoe around the subject of eating disorders, nor is it overly worthy in tone. Drawing on her own personal experiences, Horton has created something that is moving and insightful but also full of humour and warmth.

The production tells the story of Josephine's illness through a meta-theatrical lens; a knowing awkwardness pervades, there are a lot of sidelong glances and. sometimes the wrong things are said, the line overstepped. The production can perhaps be justifiably accused of an excess of whimsy but this is part of the chosen language of the piece and it works in context.

Josephine's anorexia is represented by a cloud-like duvet and a pink parasol, a soothing place to which one can retreat. Hannah Boyde's Boris is in some ways the emotional core of the play, pleading with her friend to eat, to seek help, sharing in Josephine's small victories, her face beaming while Horton sits above the stage, a remote presence, her chin held aloft in quiet pride and defiance.

Reviewed for The Stage


Imaginadium said...

Great review. Did you get to see Silvia Gallerano’s La Merda? The two productions are compared really interestingly here -
Would you agree that 'Mess' deflects responsibility from society?

Interval Drinks said...

I did see both pieces, yes, and enjoyed Matt's comparison of them. I don't think I agree with all of it though; to accuse Mess of not engaging with social pressures to conform is to focus to much on the external, when it's really an internal process which Horton is - so brilliantly - exploring.

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

I was wondering if you could provide me with an email address where I can send the press release of our upcoming season of shows, A Significant Role? They will be taking place in the PopUp cinema in Portobello during the month of October.

Many thanks,

Claire Keogh
Assistant Producer
Barefaced Theatre