Tony Britton, Fundraising Manager, ME Association.
The ME Association is backing a play about living with invisible illness which will be put on in one of London's leading pub theatres – The King's Head in High Street, Islington – during ME Awareness Week.
“Illusions of Liberty”, a comedy-drama written by Lorna Wells, will alternate with another production at the King's Head for a fortnight from May 10th and will then go to Bristol's Wardrobe Theatre for a couple of days in July.
Lorna will be inviting the MEA to take part in a panel discussion after one of the performances.
She is also asking for people with invisible illnesses and their carers to complete a very short online, anonymous survey about what they think of their illness.
“I want to incorporate the responses into slides shown during the show. It is part of my mission to make the invisible, visible”, said Lorna.
The show received rave reviews when it had its first run at the 100-seat King's Head Theatre last year. Then – much to the surprise of novice playwright Lorna – it was entered into Playmill, the theatre's own festival of brand-new work.
It's scripted as a one-hander – with actress Corinne Walker turning in a compelling performance all by herself for 80 minutes. Corinne plays the part of Liberty Jones, a principal cellist, who has been plagued for five years with an increasing number of bewildering symptoms.
Five days earlier, Liberty received her diagnosis. The comedy follows her for four following days, and we see her struggle with her diagnosis, the mother-daughter relationship, and what it means to have an illness no one can actually see.
MEA fundraiser Tony Britton helped Lorna Wells apply for Arts Council funding for this latest run.
“The show will help galvanise discussion about invisible illnesses. It will do what Lorna has shown she can do so well – open windows to new perspectives, streams of thought and candour about the way society views invisible illness”, he wrote in support of the application.
Lorna commented: “I never thought it would be good enough but have been immensely surprised by people's reaction to the show”.
Her own illness has meant that she's has several twists and turns to her career – as a singer-songwriter, taking a Master's course in creative writing at Goldsmith's, and being a vocal coach among them. She still has to rest plenty and re-charge. But now she's earned her writing spurs.
If you would like to take part in the survey, either take a snap of the QR code shown opposite, or go direct to the online survey.
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