Deftly but matter-of-factly outlined the issues surrounding IBD in an informative way, and I left knowing more about it than when I arrived.
Not that the cue was even needed, necessarily, such was the skill with which Liz performed. She confidently and humorously brought audience members up to read out her mother and husband’s words, distancing her personal recollections because, as she admitted at the end, they were too difficult for her to enact. This distancing also anonymised the experience: it could happen to any of us, and we would do well to remember that. This technique of voicing the absent was similarly used to comic effect when Liz vocalised her ‘stoma’, aka the bit of intestine left sticking out of her body post-op, and its workings with the ileostomy bag she needed to collect her body’s waste. She thus deftly but matter-of-factly outlined the issues surrounding IBD in an informative way, and I left knowing more about it than when I arrived.
It was this lightness and openness that worked so well with the performance’s interactive and inspired methods of staging such a dirty – no pun intended – topic. Using permanent markers to draw on her stomach, and baby wipes to wipe away their illustrations, Liz informed the audience of exactly what was cut away from her insides, and what they now looked like. Recorded voiceovers and video projection were masterfully utilised, as was a squeezy bottle of ketchup and brown sauce … but you’ll have to go see it to discover quite how.