Caroline Horton and Co and China Plate present

Mess

#MessPlay

Run time: 60 minutes

Age: 13+

Content warnings: We’re putting on a play. It’s about anorexia. But don’t let that put you off.

A woman eating an apple, as she watches white feathers fall down around her.

The Independent

4 stars

Evening Standard

4 stars

Time Out

4 stars

"Comes perilously close to genius and announces Horton as a major major talent"

Time Out

A woman sitting up a parasol, not directly looking at the camera, she is grinning with her thumbs up.

Mess

Written by Caroline Horton
Directed by Alex Swift

Josephine is putting on a play – Boris and Sistahl help. It’s about anorexia. But don’t let that put you off. Unflinchingly they confront big issues (and extremely tiny ones). Today they will tackle a particularly thin elephant in the room. Obsession, addiction and not wanting to get out of bed: a play with songs from 2013 Olivier Award nominated Caroline Horton (You’re Not Like Other Girls Chrissy)

Triggered@Warwick. Funded by a Wellcome Trust Arts Award and supported using public funding through Arts Council England. Commissioned by Battersea Arts Centre and Parabola Arts Centre. Supported by Ovalhouse, London.

Developed with the help of experts from King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry.

Premiered 2012 Edinburgh Fringe Festival

★★★★ Financial Times
★★★★ The Herald

“It is one of the oddest, funniest, saddest pieces of theatre I’ve seen in some time”The Independent

Winner – Best Ensemble (The Stage Awards 2012)
Winner – Argus Angel Award (Brighton Fringe 2013)
Nominated – OFFIE for Best New Play 2013
Caroline Horton – 2013 Olivier Award nominee (for You’re Not Like The Other Girls Chrissy)

Photo © Ed Collier

Booking Information

Mess offers an insight into the experience of anorexia that challenges popular misconceptions. The show tours with an accompanying workshop that was created specifically for the piece, in collaboration with key medical and outreach experts.

The workshop explores the themes addressed in the show and aims to:

  • Stimulate discourse around eating disorders and look at why it’s important to directly address eating disorders. This includes promoting discussion between students and teachers.
  • Increase awareness and understanding for the carer/onlooker and sufferer
  • Give participants a “toolkit” to deal with encountering someone with an eating disorder or developing one themselves.
  • Empower the participants with a hopeful and realistic message about the possibility of recovery.
  • Dispel commonly held, unhelpful beliefs around eating disorders.
  • Pose the question of why Mess was created and how we can address issues such as eating disorders with theatre and how theatre can draw on personal stories

Workshop location: school / education / mental health environments

Target participants: Students aged 13yrs+

Maximum participants: x 30

Length: 2-4 hours

N.B. The above information is a guideline. Bespoke workshops can be arranged to suit your venue/establishment.

In addition, regular post show discussions, private Q&As and talks addressing the themes of the play are available for school groups / specific audiences.

For more information, please contact Rosie Kelly.

Creative Team

A woman holding a globe and microphone in the dark, the globe lights up her face.

Caroline Horton

An award-winning theatre maker, performer, writer & director; currently touring the UK with All of Me.

Read more
  • Writer | Caroline Horton
  • Director | Alex Swift
  • Performers | Caroline Horton, Emily Goddard, Hannah Boyde & Seiriol Davies
  • Original score & songs | Seiriol Davies
  • Designer | Fiammetta Horvat
  • Lighting Designer | Andy Purves
  • Filmmaker | Rachel Bunce
  • Producer | China Plate

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