Based on Caroline Horton's own experiences of anorexia nervosa, MESS, a funny and poignant play with songs, is a three-hander about obsession, despair and finally about letting go, offering an authentic insight that challenges popular misconceptions about dealing with and recovering from the condition. Mess was developed with the help of experts from King's College London's Institute of Psychiatry, one of the leaders in eating disorder research, and with funding from a Wellcome Trust Arts Award.
Josephine, Boris and Sistahl are catapulted from the depths of despair and bafflement to the heights of joy and hope and back again as they struggle to tell the story of Josephine's anorexia and recovery. Mess is wickedly funny and deeply moving, providing a window into an internal world of addiction and control, which is finally rejected for the messy, chaotic and rich world outside.
Caroline is joined by Hannah Boyde, a member of the War Horse ensemble. Musician Seiriol Davies previously collaborated withPunchdrunk, writing songs for and performing in The Black Diamond (2011). His original score and songs are performed live.
Caroline's You're Not Like The Other Girls Chrissy won The Stage Awards' "Best Solo Performer" in 2010. It was nominated for a Holden Street Theatres award, New Writing South Best New Play and Best Theatre Performer at the Adelaide Fringe. The show continues to tour nationally and internationally to great critical acclaim.
Caroline is an artistic associate of The Bush and a writer and performer based in Birmingham. Recent work includes Olga inHeldenplatz (Arcola, 2010); and Cinderella (Warwick Arts Centre, 2009); Art House and Almost 10 (Tangram Theatre, 2009 Edinburgh Fringe, also nominated for 2009 Stage Award "Best Solo Performer"). Caroline directed and co-adapted Grisly Tales from Tumblewater for Teasel Theatre for Edinburgh Fringe 2011 and performed I'll Show You Mine (sequel to Almost 10 by Raphaele Moussafir) at Lion and Unicorn Theatre (London 2011 - Time Out Critic's Choice Award) and was Heidi in Heidi - A Goats Tale at the egg, Bath. She has recently collaborated with Shams Plasticine Men, Teasel and Make/Shift on new shows.
Susan Ringwood (Chief Executive, BEAT, the leading eating disorder charity) said: "...a truly remarkable piece of theatre. Eating disorders thrive on secrecy and shame, but Mess brings the illness out into the open in a way that will change both hearts and minds. It's honest and insightful portrayal will bring hope to anyone affected by an eating disorder."
Professor Ulrike Schmidt (King's College London's Institute of Psychiatry) said: "Caroline Horton and her team have achieved the impossible: Mess is a highly engaging, incredibly moving, and above all wonderfully funny play about one young woman's recovery from anorexia. Importantly, the laughter is never at the expense of the person with anorexia. Mess gives an immensely positive, hopeful message to people with this devastating condition, borne out of real understanding of the loneliness, despair and obsessiveness of the disorder."
Carolinehorton.net | @carolineplays | #messtheatre | http://vimeo.com/54451916
Running Time 70 mins | Suitable for ages 13+