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Vancouver Fringe Festival play about Anorexia

Her Name Was Mary
Studio 16
 

Devastatingly, love isn’t enough in Tai Amy Grauman’s bittersweet autobiographical play either. Her Name Was Mary… dramatizes a doomed friendship between two adolescent girls.

Amy (Emily Wilson) struggles with her weight while anorexic Mary (Sachi Nisbet) drops to 60 pounds. Ironically, we learn early in the play, Mary died at 15 in a car crash.

In a series of chronologically scrambled snapshots intercut with a long dream, the girls talk about boys and sex, their periods, the humiliations of adolescence and their love for each other.

But mostly they talk about eating — or rather not eating — and body image. Mary takes the lead, casual and systematic about starving herself. Amy follows, terrified of being fat and ugly.

Each is shadowed by an alter-ego in black (Bonnie Duff and Taylor Scott) who calls herself a fairy godmother but encourages the girls’ self-destructive behaviour and discourages their friendship.

There’s nice work here from the two leads in this moving story, sensitively directed by Grauman. Though Amy dreams, unsuccessfully, of trying to save Mary, their love will survive even death.

Vancouver Fringe Festival, September 17th at various venues.  Tickets & Info: $14 at vancouverfringe.com