Review: Eat Your Heart Out

Tightrope Theatre at Edinburgh Fringe
Paradise in Augustines (52), Times Vary, until 26th August (Not 19th)

Teenagers are confusing. They’re complex, and they struggle, and they have so much to deal with, it’s a wonder they manage anything at all. Eat Your Heart Out is about city teens, about pressure and thigh gaps and fads – and it’s about a girl with anorexia. It’s about her family, and her friends, and it’s about how people react.
Too often, ‘sensitive issues’ are either exploitatively harrowing, or they’re empty of care and meaning, something written as a knee-jerk reaction to the news. Eat Your Heart Out is neither of these. It is funny: character sketches expertly acted and transitioned into by four supremely talented young actors, it has genuinely emotional ups and downs, and it cuts through toxic bullshit.

Most of this bullshit is patriarchal: pandering to teenage boys with the ‘soft no’, our inherently broken health care system, our inability to comprehend that boys have eating disorders too. But it is also human bullshit – namely not knowing how to talk to your mates about obviously important issues.

Eat Your Heart Out manages to be candid without shame, blame or fetish, and by God is it funny. I wish I had a show like this when I was in school. I have been on this bus, I have been the concerned friend in the chip shop, I have seen (but not understood) eating disorders. I want as many teenagers as possible to see this play, and I want every adult to do so too. I urge everyone to go, and to regret, and to learn, and to do better next time.
©Nemo Martin 2018
Screen Shot 2018-08-14 at 09.16.56

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