Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Further reading

In no particular order, here are some of the best books I read whilst researching our new show Tell Me Anything, which is about eating disorders and relationships.

From the author of I Love Dick, a characteristically incisive, wry, raw exploration of anorexia via Simone Weil and Kraus's own deeply personal experiences.  A book which taught me all about flawed heroes and unreliable narrators.

“Anorexia is not evasion of a social gender role; it’s not regression.  It is an active stance: the rejection of the cynicism that this culture hands us through food.”

I don’t know if I agree with this but Kraus does, as the blurb on the back of the book puts it so well, “reclaim anorexia from the psychoanalytical girl ghetto of ‘poor self-esteem’”.

An extraordinary book and rightful winner of this year's Man Booker International Prize.  A novel about food, culture, patriarchy which showed me how not to portray women with eating disorders as victims.

I read this when I was fifteen and refer to it frequently in my teenage diaries because it resembled Kate's experience on so many levels.

“I cannot help but think that had I lived in a culture where ‘thinness’ was not regarded as a strange state of grace, I might have sought out another means of attaining that grace.”

A recently published, frank and deeply touching memoir of anorexia.  This was the book that many of my collaborators said helped them the most.

Further information about Eating Disorders - including help and resources for both sufferers and carers

Our new show Tell Me Anything deals with David's experience of caring for a girlfriend who had an eating disorder, when he was fifteen.  If you would like to know more about the issues raised in the show, or if you are affected by them yourself, we highly recommend the following websites and organisations.

This was fundamental to our understanding of the experience of being a carer. If you're going through something similar and looking for help, this website is the best place to start.

An international organisation of and for parents and caregivers to help loved ones recover from eating disorders by providing information and mutual support

An online community of parents of eating disorder patients around the world run by F.E.A.S.T. ATDT is a moderated forum that has connected and supported parents since 2004.

A series of short films and interviews, designed to help eating disorder sufferers, carers, family and friends, as well as healthcare and education professionals

An organisation run by Veronica Kamerling, whose daughters suffered from eating disorders.  Veronica now run the London Carers' Group, a self help group run by and for carers.

Information and help on all aspects of eating disorders, including Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, binge eating disorder and related eating disorders.

A charity that investigates supports academics and eating disorder practitioners in building, collecting and disseminating knowledge, research and evidence and which works to develop and establish tools to further the understanding of eating disorders.

Information and help on eating disorders for carers, sufferers and mental health workers. A website designed by June Alexander, an Australian writer, educator and public speaker on eating disorders and mental health issues.

Boys Get Anorexia Too & Men Get Eating Disorders Too
Information and resources for men or boys suffering from eating disorders and their carers.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Edinburgh Fringe recommendations

In case you don't have time to browse the full gimp owl catalogue, we’d like to recommend a few shows by friends of ours who make brilliant, brilliant work.

In the meantime, don't forget to book for our show Tell Me Anything which will play at Summerhall at 5.45pm from 3-28 August.  Tickets are on sale here.

Pleasance Courtyard, 2pm
We saw an extract of Goggles at Pulse Festival’s Suitcase Day a few months ago and adored it.  A quirky comedy about Josie and Gemma’s friendship, and their pet goldfish, Sunny and Boo. 

Summerhall, 1.35pm
Songs, politics, dodgy landlords and detective work from the riotously funny and always anarchic Sh!t Theatre.

Underbelly Cowgate, 6pm
A new play about revenge porn from the award-winning team behind Bitch Boxer, including director Bryony Shanahan, who worked with us on So it Goes.

Summerhall, 2.50pm
Tackling the topic of anxiety, a rollercoaster one-woman show from our Lecoq buddies on the button.

Underbelly Cowgate, 5.30pm
Joanna is joined onstage by her father Pat, a retired builder who’s never made theatre in his life.  Pat learns to be a comedian, whilst Joanna does some honest construction work.  (I saw a work in progress of this last year and it was bloody amazing.  The description above doesn’t really do it justice.) Directed by our old friend Julian Spooner, from Rhum and Clay Theatre Company.