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A hilarious and delicate theatre performance
Based on real-life testimonies and ground-breaking medical research, Give Me Your Love is a theatre performance by theatre legends Jon Haynes and David Woods. It was presented with humour and fragile moments, based on ex-soldier and budding rock star Zach.
Zach suffers from post-traumatic stress and has withdrawn himself into a cardboard box in a kitchen in West Wales. His friend, Leuan, arrives and helps Zach by offering recovery, in the form of a capsule containing 3.4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine, which Leuan claims has helped him to successfully treat his own post-traumatic stress (also known as shell shock).
We were taken into the lives of Zach and Leuan as they parachuted into their recent fractured pasts and their swing between dreamboat heroism and woozy enlightenment while engaging in disorderly conversation about patriotism, conflict, trauma and supermarket shopping that certainly did tickle, move and appal in equal measure.
Image Courtesy from Media Press Images
The landscape is weird - it is a cardboard box in Zach's kitchen and his wife whispers, kindly, that it is safe to come out. He is alone in an empty, dirt-smeared room with the door on a chain. The box is his refuge, a retreat. When he briefly breaks out from it to the room, he is a poor forked thing, leaping around half-naked and stricken.
The play conveyed a strong sense of existential entrapment- Zach being stuck in a cardboard box, in a squalid room, stained and bare. It also portrays the debilitating realities of PTSD with an off-kilter, often hilarious blend of insight and rapid-fire absurdity.
The performance is an investigation into the effects of combat stress and during the development of Give Me Your Love, Haynes and Wood worked with American-based doctors and war veterans who shared their experiences of therapy using MDMA (ecstasy) to assist in the reprocessing of trauma in cases of treatment-resistant PTSD.
The play certainly did succeed in absorbing, entertaining and enlightening the audience about the use of innovative forms of therapy using altered states of consciousness.
Tickets can be purchased online or at the box office.