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Fringe review: 3 Years, 1 Week and a Lemon Drizzle @ Underbelly Bristo Square

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A reflective and personal piece of theatre about their own lives, Alex and Kate Donnachie have created a show based on the time Alex was diagnosed with anorexia. Originally crafted by Alex, she decided to ask Kate how she felt during “that time” – only for Kate to agree to be in the show too.

Image: The Other Richard

The show illuminates their relationship as sisters from childhood to adulthood, and how it was affected when Alex received her diagnosis and became very very ill. Consisting of original songs, clips of them as little girls, reading from their diaries and more, it is an illuminating and deeply personal insight into the realities of eating disorders and how they affect the sufferer, as well as the people close to them.

Some parts of the show are difficult to watch – but these parts are meant to be like that. Rather than romanticising eating disorders the show portrays the horrible nature of the illness and the horrendous effects it can have on people. As someone in recovery from anorexia myself I found it refreshing to have it portrayed in such a realistic and raw way, although tough to watch.

The conversational nature of the show, and the sibling rivalry/love that was shown throughout made it easy to relate to both Alex and Kate and made it easier to understand what they were both going through during “that time” – particularly Alex, for those who had little or no understanding of eating disorders.

I always think that no-one should write anything (plays, books, TV shows, films) about eating disorders unless they have been through them themselves, because you get the most genuine viewpoint and information – and this show is no exception. Quite clearly based on personal experience, this show provides a very good overview of what it’s like to suffer from this debilitating illness and how it can affect those around you.


This article is part of our coverage of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Click here to read other articles written by our contributors. 

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