A PLAY with songs based on writer and performer Caroline Horton’s own experiences of anorexia nervosa comes to The Arc, in Stockton, on Thursday.

Mess is a three-hander about obsession, despair and finally about letting go that “offers an authentic insight that challenges popular misconceptions about dealing with and recovering from anorexia”.

Mess was developed with the help of experts from Maudsley Hospital, a leader in eating disorder research, and with support from a Wellcome Trust Arts Award.

Mess finds Josephine, Boris and Sistahl catapulted from the depths of despair and bafflement to the heights of joy and hope and back again as they struggle to tell the story of Josephine’s anorexia and recovery.

The play is described as wickedly funny and deeply moving, while providing a window into an internal world of addiction and control, which is finally rejected for the messy, chaotic and rich world outside.

Caroline is joined by Hannah Boyde, a member of the War Horse ensemble.

Musician Seiriol Davies previously collaborated with Punchdrunk, writing songs for and performing in The Black Diamond (2011). His original score and songs for Mess are performed live.

Birmingham-based Horton’s Edinburgh Fringe debut, You’re Not Like The Other Girls Chrissy, won The Stage Awards best solo performer prize in 2010. More recently, it was nominated for an Olivier Award.

  • The Arc date on Thursday is part of a national and international tour. Box office 01642-525199 and online arconline.co.uk