Thinspiration, a drama charting a young woman’s battle with her own body image, premiers this Saturday. The play, written by Hull playwright Dave Windass, is a special commission for this month’s Humber Mouth literature festival.
Offering an insight into the world of eating disorders, and the rise of pro-anorexia websites, the play seems a departure for a writer who has penned several comedies in the past. “I’m not afraid of being serious,” Dave said.
“Eating disorders remain something of a taboo subject because it is very difficult, when you’re in the midst of a battle, to articulate your thoughts and feelings to the people around you.”
The drama stars Rachel Helen Shaw – a Spotlight Award winner at last year’s National Student Drama Festival – in the role of Adele, who comes to view food as her “enemy”.
“We want to tell Adele’s story and give an insight into the thoughts and feelings of somebody who suffers from an eating disorder,” said Rachel.
“I don’t think people fully understand those who have issues with food – I hope the play will explain things and, in a subtle way, raise awareness of the complex nature of eating disorders.”
Lee Green, who directs the play, said that a “delicate eye” had been kept on the story of the character.
“Although we are aware that Adele is suffering from an eating disorder, it is important that she is unaware,” he said.
“Rachel is able to tell a story while portraying a character in the midst of an emotional and physical battle with anorexia with ease and great competence.”
For Dave, he hopes the play will help break the taboo around the subject and encourage some understanding.
“My previous work has focused on comedy but, if you take a closer look, you will see that I’ve dealt with some very serious subject matter, including cancer, drowning at sea and the collapse of relationships,” he said.
“So, when it comes to Thinspiration, it’s also important to stress that, while the subject is a serious one, there’s also a decent human story at the heart of the play.”
* Thinspiration shares a bill with SEED, a devised piece directed by Emma Waslin.
Thinspiration is on Saturday, 8pm, at Hull Truck Studio, Hull Truck Theatre, Ferensway, Hull.
Tickets are £5, call 01482 323638. www.hulltruck.co.uk