This one was a little uncomfortable for me to watch, having been hospitalised with anorexia last summer. The play follows three young people whose lives have been altered by anorexia – here portrayed as an overbearing maternal figure hell-bent on isolating all who meet her from their friends, families, and support networks.
Suzanna Walters shines as the sinister personification of this destructive eating disorder, bringing to life the circumstances that led to her own battle with the disease. After the play she tells me; “I think it’s long enough that I could step aside from the emotion. I kept extensive diaries as I was going into the illness and right after it. So a lot of the characters words are from my diaries.”
And they are powerful words indeed. “I see just how much the anorexia is in control and I’m powerless,” says one character, with another chiming in, “I still have that cold dread about seeing the numbers on the scale go up.”
The play is centred around three characters; Libby, Kate and Jonathan who are all in various stages of recovery. As their stories are developed we see them go through periods of hospitalisation, as well as seeing scenes from their childhood and teenage years.
The depiction of psychiatric hospital is, in my experience, incredibly accurate and it’s comforting to see a sort of gallows humour being explored – particularly in the scenes at dinnertime. I remember well the overwhelming fear that accompanied mealtimes, and I’m sure those scenes will resonate with anyone who has been afflicted with an eating disorder.
Overall the play is a successful exploration of a difficult subject. If you need a little reminding that we’re not in this journey alone, I can’t recommend Eat Me highly enough.
Words: Ana Hine
C venues – C aquila, Roman Eagle Lodge, Johnston Terrace, EH1 2PW
Aug 10-27, 17:35, £10.50
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