Barnstaple's Fringe Theatre Festival
June 25th-28th 2015

She Ain't Heavy, She's My Mother

Spit and Sawdust Theatre Company

'She Ain't Heavy, She's My Mother' is an autobiographical solo performance which deals with the eating disorder anorexia. This performance is unique in that it is not told from the perspective of the person who suffers from an eating disorder it is the story of a child who had to watch as anorexia took hold of someone else.

This is an important story because you get to hear a different view, one that is rarely heard. It is made all the more poignant in that it largely concentrates on the experience of a twelve year old. An age when children still look to their parents as invincible and protectors. Or, as we are told at the start, the ones you look too to make every thing okay.

Using the venue of St Anne's and minimalist staging, the performance space felt very intimate. This intimacy is furthered by the fact that the audience is spoken to directly throughout. There is a lot of passion in the performance and a raw honesty which made it compelling to watch. Personally, I was not prepared for just how emotional I would find it. I would imagine that if this is an experience you are familiar with, it would be very hard to watch. Alternatively, maybe it would prove some kind of comfort in a way, knowing that there were others who might understand a little of what it is like. The piece certainly has impact, but it also had light moments, laughter and even custard creams.

This is a very powerful piece of theatre very competently delivered.
Jem Clancy, The Daily Review