My Shrinking Life - Alison Peebles' MS-themed show

This article is from 2012

My Shrinking Life

Alison Peebles' first MS theatre piece will feature dancers and is directed by Belgian theatre-maker Lies Pauwels

Scotland has the highest levels of multiple sclerosis in the world, and one of the country’s most high profile sufferers is lauded actress, writer and director Alison Peebles. Peebles, who’s won acclaim in the past for her portrayal of Lady Macbeth and for her own films, discovered she had MS while rehearsing for David Greig’s 1999 play, The Cosmonaut’s Last Message to the Woman he Once Loved in the Former Soviet Union. In 2005, she made a BBC Scotland documentary about her experience with the condition called Multiple, which went on to win awards across the world.

My Shrinking Life, which will premiere at the Tron in September, will be her first theatre work about MS. This National Theatre of Scotland production will be performed by Peebles, along with three dancers – Katie Armstrong, Thomas J Baylis and Hanna Stanbridge – and two children, who will play her younger self. Their agile movements will contrast with Peebles’ declining physicality, to represent the changes in her life since her MS diagnosis.

My Shrinking Life – which will later tour to St Andrews, Edinburgh and Inverness – is directed by Belgian theatre-maker Lies Pauwels, whose adaptation of David Harrower’s Knives in Hens for the NTS shocked and intrigued audiences in 2011. For the performance, Peebles has collected interviews with a range of figures, including family, friends, work colleagues and medical professionals. So the play promises to be a multi-faceted picture of the actress’ life with MS and how it’s affected her and those around her.

Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Sat 8–Sat 15 Sep.

Knives in Hens - interview with director Lies Pauwels

My Shrinking Life

Actor, director and film/theatre maker Alison Peebles tells of the emotional and physical journey she has been on since first being 'unofficially' diagnosed with MS 12 years ago. Part of Luminate.