Wake up and smell the coffee!
This issue-based drama informs and educates us as we journey with the protagonist as she confronts, challenges, resists and finally submits to the tyrant that is Inflammatory Bowel Disease; a disease that few of us know little about, other in the most academic of terms, and yet it affects over 300k people in the UK.
Written and performed by Patrycja Dynowska, clearly a talent who never wallows in self indulgence but manages to lift the personal experience, at times, to the general. She draws her audience in with a multidisciplinary performance with a range of theatrics that graphically communicates the trial and tribulations such a disease poses.
With imaginative designs a talented creative team lend great visual and audio support to Dynowska’s telling of the tale, The disease is totally disruptive with no respect for place or time and shows no leniency for its victim. At any moment the victim can be caught short and ‘will strike back yet again’. With a mixture of poems, thoughts and monologue, and a spick and span set design with enough tissues to roll oneself up in. This visual metaphor is not lost on us as we see this young women deal with blood, mucus, anxiety, weight loss or weight gain suggesting a fickle foe.
An atmospheric sound track composed by Meg Ella Brookes; growling low cello sounds contrasted with dripping water or flowing piano music reflecting the emotional range of the sufferer.
This is a worthy play and not without merit – clearly a performance of some passion and self interest, with a personal account that informs and shocks us at times with its honesty. But ultimately I found it limited in its scope and as a piece of drama rather ragged and threadbare at times.
With a successful run at the Tristram Bates Theatre the play will now run throughout the Camden Festival.