ADDICTION

Fix // Worklight Theatre

In a blend of text and songs we follow three characters, each made up of a collage of the various people Worklight spoke to during a two year research period. The broad topic of addiction is filtered through the lens of behavioural addictions and these determined performers navigate communicating the science of how dependencies manifest in the brain, alongside their intimate character portraits.

The trio preface their findings with the message that the numerous range of causes, impacts and treatment for addictions are ‘up for debate’ and what unfolds before the audience seems to be about humans chasing connections - neurological, emotional and physical. These connections are inherent in the process of social bonding and evolution and yet, frequently disrupted by the loneliness of addiction. Or rather, the loneliness of disconnecting from family, friends and/or the gradual but entrenched process of political and economical disenfranchisement, which then fuels addiction.  

Digestible science-y bits about the habit forming centres of the brain, which addiction alters, travel the audience into the impossibly complex matrix of neurones that explode our soft tissue into a mess of cravings. These longings become more concrete with each cycle of repeated fixes and pauses between fixes. 

The show grazes the surface yet provides a compassionate glimpse into the scope and consequences of addiction. Near the end, there are undertones of devastation in an assertion that ‘you can’t cure this…no one is ever completely fixed’. What springs to mind is how long term care, compassion and the continual re-understandings needed to treat addictions, each sit uncomfortably within impatient, globalised capitalism. Short sharp treatment courses, 6 NHS therapy sessions, TV talk show hosts-cum-doctors

So, how do we make more time? How do we replenish healthcare resources? How do we nurture rather than rupture emotional connections in order to counter getting a fix, a release, an escape from destructive patterning and habits? 

- Alexandrina Hemsley

 

Links relevant to this diagnosis:

Fix - Worklight Theatre

Behavioural Addiction vs Substance Addiction: Correspondence of Psychiatric and Psychological Views - US National Library of Medicine

Action on Addiction

Codependency Help & Treatment - Rehab & Recovery

Addiction and Recovery

BIT OF SUNSHINE / Bloody Deeds Productions in Association with Kilter Theatre

BIT OF SUNSHINE / Bloody Deeds Productions in Association with Kilter Theatre

How do you write anxiety? How do you act it? Two questions that present wildly unsatisfactory answers. There are the obvious ways, the tics, the coiled up physical tensions, the wild, unkempt hair, the wildly roving eyes. There’s the breathy, machine guy delivery of dialogue, or the visible signs of ‘nervous breakdown’. 

(I COULD GO ON SINGING) SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW / FK Alexander

(I COULD GO ON SINGING) SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW / FK Alexander

The volume of this work is at the level of trembling clothes. An affective noise that moves bodies and governs the internal rhythms of an audience to match its ritual of dialogue balladry. The singer is standing in a washed-out strobe aurora with a mic lead coiled in her punk rock grip, hand-in-hand with one from the crowd. The crowd let it lull them into a meditative state.

HIP / Kriya Arts

HIP / Kriya Arts

Hip is an hour drifting through the Jungian collective unconsciousness; during the performance, Jolie Booth explores the serendipity of finding uncanny parallels with past lives. Based around found objects, Hip is a semi-autobiographical one woman show that starts by introducing us to a location caught between two timelines and personalities: the home of Anne Clarke during 60s bohemian Brighton, and a squat established by Jolie in 2002.

I'VE SNAPPED MY BANJO STRING, LET'S JUST TALK / Scott Agnew

I'VE SNAPPED MY BANJO STRING, LET'S JUST TALK / Scott Agnew

Long before his HIV diagnosis, Agnew needed another for his mental health, but the GP he saw wrote him off successively as an alcoholic, a food addict, a gambler, a sex addict and more, without recognising the symptoms of bipolar disorder.