– Time Out (4 stars)
In this life-affirming drama, Josephine, her confidant and university friend, Boris, and musical maestro, Sistahl, are catapulted from the depths of despair and bafflement to the heights of joy and hope and back again as they tell the story of Josephine’s anorexia and recovery. Mess provides an authentic insight into an internal world of obsession, addiction, despair and control, which is finally rejected for the world outside.
Directed by Alex Swift, the play 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. Wickedly funny and deeply moving, Mess challenges popular misconceptions about dealing with and recovering from the condition.
Professor Ulrike Schmidt, from 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.”
Caroline Horton plays the role of Josephine in Mess. A writer, director and performer, Caroline recently delighted audiences in Bath when she starred in the title role in the egg’s 2012 Christmas show Heidi A Goat’s Tail Tale for five weeks. Caroline has recently received a nomination for the 2013 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement for another one of her own shows,You’re Not Like The Other Girls Chrissy. This production, which continues to tour nationally and internationally, has already won The Stage 2010 Award for Best Solo Performer, and was nominated for a Holden Street Theatres Award, New Writing South Best New Play and Best Theatre Performer at the Adelaide Fringe.
Amongst her numerous credits, Caroline also directed and co-adapted Grisly Tales from Tumblewater which toured to the egg theatre last April. She performed Almost 10 at the Edinburgh Festival in 2009 and was nominated in The Stage Awards for Best Solo Performer. She is currently developing a new show called Islands and is an associate artist at London’s Bush Theatre.
In Mess, Caroline is joined by Hannah Boyde, a member of the War Horseensemble, who plays the role of Boris, and musician Seiriol Davies who appears as Sistahl. Seiriol previously collaborated with Punchdrunk Theatre Company, writing songs for and performing in their production of The Black Diamond(2011). His original score and songs for Mess are performed live.
MESS appears at the egg theatre on Thursday 11th April and Friday 12th April. Tickets are available from the Theatre Royal Bath Box Office on 01225 448844, the egg reception on 01225 823 409 or online via www.theatreroyalorg.uk