Writer: Caroline Horton
Director: Alex Swift
Reviewer: John Roberts
After her critically acclaimed production of ‘You’re not like the other girls Chrissy’ in 2010 Caroline Horton has fast become a name to watch within the theatre industry, her unique approach to biographical stories take her audiences to places rarely seen on stage, to a place so personal it’s hard not to be affected by the tales she presents.
Mess is no different, created in conjunction with Beat the eating disorder charity, it tackles the tricky subject of Anorexia with whimsical folly, something with which Horton herself is a master of mainly thanks to her training at Ecole Philip Gaulier in Paris.
Under the tight direction of Swift, Horton enchants as the lead rôle of Josephine, her ability to play pathos with sincerity and comedy with a deadpan edge is a delight to behold, she is joined on stage by Hannah Boyde as confidant and university friend Boris and Seiriol Davies as the musical maestro Sistahl.
Mess transcends the awkwardness of the subject matter with ease, balancing a fine line between sentimentality and bitter truthfulness, it’s quirky fairy tale like set designed by Fiammetta Horvat, hides plenty of surprises and many beautiful images.
If one was to pick, the pace at times seemed sluggish and a trim of ten minutes off the total running time wouldn’t go amiss, however negatives aside, you can’t help but be won over by this charming, whimsical and life affirming piece of theatre.