Claire-Louise Cordwell (Casualty, BBC; Bodyguard, BBC; A Kind of People, Royal Court) and Helena Antoniou (Call The Midwife, BBC; The Snow Queen, Yvonne Arnaud Theatre) will star in Love Them To Death by Max Dickins (author of newly published Billy No-Mates).
The world premiere is directed by five times Fringe First award-winner Hannah Eidinow, with lighting design from Holly Ellis (Twenty-Eight, Theatre503; Instructions For A Teenage Armageddon, Southwark Playhouse; Bobby & Amy, Edinburgh Fringe and UK tour) and Michael Woods (Sound Designer – The Queen Of Hearts, Greenwich Theatre; Associate Sound Designer – Hymn, Almeida Theatre) as sound designer.
Inspired by real events, Love Them To Death explores Fabricated and Induced illness (previously known as ‘Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy’), a rare form of behaviour where care givers exaggerate, feign or induce illness in their children. Exploring who is telling the truth, how we come to that decision, and whether the truth even exists, most of the time, Love Them To Death is a dark and twisty tale set in the borderlands between love and violence.
FII is much more common than previously thought although is often under-reported; one reason for this is that it is hard to prove and this is the impossible dilemma for the likes of doctors and school workers: the line between fact and fiction is blurred. And there are other lines, too: between ‘normal’ and ‘abnormal’ parenting; between love and abuse; between illness and health. But where do we draw them? And who gets to decide?
Director Hannah Eidinow comments, I’m really excited to work with Max on his compelling and vital play, and explore the strength and confusion of unconditional love, and the extreme behaviours it can drive us to. Both women are driven by the power of their convictions to protect their child in the way they know best. Why do we do what we do? Can we trust ourselves? How do we know what’s right? It’s a truly relevant topic, and I can’t wait to mine this drama about the fundamental questions of the human psyche.
Love Them To Death is at Underbelly Cowgate 4th – 28th August (not 15th)