A demon on my life – a play about ME
A play written by JB Bruno has been premiered online and is now available to watch on YouTube.
“A demon on one’s life.
What a ripe metaphor for chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). A demon – a kind of slippery, malevolent, unearthly being – difficult to get one’s hands on. Difficult even to see… On one’s life. Not around one’s life but on it, pushing it, like the force of gravity, down.”
The play, dedicated to ME patients, tells an interesting, emotionally powerful story centred around a young woman, Liz, who has been sidelined by ME from her career as a dancer, and her husband, Mark.
Starts at 2 min 30 until 1h 46 – followed by a Q&A [1h 44 long]
The writer JB Bruno explains how he came to write the play:
A friend from many years ago, who was dealing with ME/CFS, piqued his interest.
“I started researching and watching documentaries. Three things struck me most about the disease that made it different from others: it was very much misunderstood, it was often misdiagnosed, and compared to other diseases, it was significantly under-funded. All this for a disease whose origins are still disputed today and that right now has no cure in sight. ”
“This was clearly the story I needed to tell. “
Read more about the background to the play and its production from Cort Johnson on the Health Rising blog
A review of the performance by a person with ME
The cast did a truly wonderful job in this play. The crew responsible for putting the play on live via Zoom enhanced it greatly with the beautiful and creative “sets” (exquisite miniature dioramas) used in between acts and, minus the Zoom window shifts in between acts, I easily forgot I was watching Zoom. You have to use your imagination as an audience member, but they showed brilliantly that with talented actors, it can be done.
In the Q&A sessions after each live performance, the writer/director, cast and crew demonstrated their curiosity and empathy about ME and they deserve a big thank you for taking this on. Several mentioned they had known absolutely nothing about the disease before signing on.
The company plans to do a theatrical run in New York when the theaters open again. At that time, they hope to have the funds to do another livestream performance for an ME/CFS audience that would not be able to make a trip to a theatre. 10% of all proceeds will go to Solve ME/CFS Initiative, an advocacy group for research, treatment and awareness.