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Mess visits Bush Theatre as part of new national tour


Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

FOLLOWING its award-winning debut at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2012 and subsequent tour and London run in spring 2013, Mess is touring to schools, colleges, theatres and arts centres with workshops and discussions.

The tour, which runs from October 1 to December 5, 2013, will visit London’s Bush Theatre on November 20 and 21 as part of RADAR 2013.

Previously Posted: Mess, by Caroline Horton, will visit Battersea Arts Centre from May 14 to June 1, 2013, as part of a national tour.

Based on her own experiences of anorexia nervosa, this 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.

Described as wickedly funny and deeply moving, Mess provides a window into an internal world of addiction and control, which is finally rejected for the messy, chaotic and rich world outside.

Mess is also performed by Caroline Horton, an artistic associate of The Bush and a writer and performer based in Birmingham, alongside Hannah Boyde, a member of the War Horse ensemble and musician Seiriol Davies, whose original score and songs are performed live.

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.”

Mess is suitable for ages 13+.

Tickets: £15, £10 concessions, £10 May 14 to May 18 – available from the box office on 020 7223 2223 or online at

Time: 7.30pm.

Running Time: 70 minutes.

The tour, which commences in Cheltenham in April, will continue to Chipping Norton, Bath, Bolton, Lincoln, Didcot, Bristol, Newcastle, Stockton-on-Tees, Brighton, Coventry, St Helier, London (BAC) and Ipswich.