Opening the inaugural Tellit Festival, 3 Years, 1 Week and a Lemon Drizzle is Alexandra Donnachie’s autobiographical account of her battle with an eating disorder and the effects it has on her family, in particular, her younger, by three years and one week, sister, Kate.
This two-handed play opens with Kate performing a song which she has written for the play. Whilst we didn’t get to hear the whole song, it was beautifully sung with some heartfelt lyrics.
Alexandra then bounces onto the stage and the two girls introduce themselves before Alexandra gives a brief explanation as to the three main types of eating disorders. We were also shown a brief family film showing the pair as carefree youngsters on a family day out. Alexandra, to Kate’s dismay, recalled how she’d thought out the concept for the piece before Kate had agreed to be a part of it and towards the end of the piece we were played a brief excerpt of a conversation between the two as they discussed Alex’s illness whilst putting the play together.
Alexandra’s script is fun, thought-provoking and emotional. Both girls delivery is extremely good with a great mix of fun, emotional and sometimes tearful moments. A fun moment involves Alexandra becoming a quiz-master to do a “Mr & Mrs style who’s the better sister quiz” on Kate whilst the slightly sadder moments involved the girls reading entries from their diaries. With Kate revealing seemingly normal days being interrupted by frantic telephone calls from her parents, whilst Alexandra’s is more of a food diary
One thing I really liked about this play was the girls’ obvious love and respect for each other both today and also during what must have been a very difficult time for them, their parents and Nan.
Review by Karen Pond
3 Years, 1 Week and a Lemon Drizzle pieces together some of Alexandra and Kate Donnachie’s sometimes heart-breaking and often hilarious memories of growing up together and managing their close bond when older sister, Alexandra, developed a severe eating disorder as a teenager.
Once Alexandra decided to ask Kate what ’that time’ was like for her, she immediately began cooking up ideas for this autobiographical show –albeit before Kate agreed to be in it!
3 Years, 1 Week and a Lemon Drizzle is a performance that recalls on touching memories, shares laugh-out-loud anecdotes and melts Mars bars to bring to stage a story about living with a loved one and their mental illness.
16th October 2016
Exmouth Market Church Hal
Exmouth Market, London, EC1R 4QE