It is not everyday you discuss your bowel movements with a room full of strangers. In my 20-something years of roaming my corner of this earth, I am yet to stumble upon groups of people who regularly share titillating toilet-seat tales which is one of the reasons why I was intrigued to see how Liz Richardson's show would place one of the most natural human acts on centre stage.
(SPOILER: the show is not one to miss!!)
Co-created by Liz Richardson and Tara Robinson, Gutted (next showing at Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2nd - 13th Aug) is an evocative solo performance taking an honest look at the world of a young woman currently living with ulcerative colitis (a chronic inflammatory bowel disease). Based on Liz's real life experiences with UC and having an ileostomy operation resulting in her living with an internal pouch, Gutted is filled to the brim with animated characters (like a talking stoma), heartwarming stories, surprising aromas and playful yoghurt eating sessions which help in giving a voice to those living with this disease.
Although Liz did not miss a moment to share how unsexy living with UC is and gave us an insight into how navigating the choppy waters of relationships has been for her, which I found to be quite moving, she never once came across as a person defeated by this horrible disease. The hilarious and mortifying anecdotes woven into the show illustrated how Liz has been able to deal with her illness with the help of those who love her and those who try to understand how life can be for someone who has UC.
By the end of the show, Gutted - in its witty, brilliant and honest way - had me thinking that ignorance may not always, in fact, be bliss. Everyone has something their dealing with, privately or publicly, and the sooner we take a minute to remember that the better off our interactions with each other could be. If Gutted is on at a theatre near you, I encourage you to check it out as I highly doubt you will regret engaging in a conversation that is not normally part of our everyday... especially with Liz leading it.