With a calm voice and warm smile, she encourages three young people she describes as “friends” not to eat. Slowly it becomes apparent that she’s not their friend at all – in fact, she’s the physical embodiment of an eating disorder they’re all affected by – anorexia.
Eat Me, C venues (Venue 21) ***
Shifting between a narrator and her so-called friends, this unnamed woman, played by writer Suzanna Walters, gives what could be a familiar, issue-led play the heightened mood of a sinister ghost story.
A script based upon Walters’s own real-life experiences weaves together three young people’s stories in a way that gives engaging insights, while demonstrating the devastating effects of the condition.
Walters’s heightened performance, as the voice of anorexia, sometimes feels at odds with the other members of the cast, who skilfully and often humorously move between naturalistic roles – but at its best provides a pertinent juxtaposition between reality and their warped perceptions.
By the time the younger characters meet in a group therapy session, the pace slows down. A good edit wouldn’t go amiss, particularly of the direct-to-audience address. However, as anorexia loses her friends and turns her attention to us, it’s an unsettling and thought-provoking conclusion to an imaginative piece.
• Until 27 August, 5:35pm