• Amy Toledano

Hero Win by Anna North

Anna North Writer and Performer

What is it?

A young woman gives us a clever understanding of what it is to deal with addiction in a light and comfortable way.

What's it all about?

Anna has a problem. An addiction. One she can't seem to shake and it is getting worse everyday.

She is addicted to puns.

She isn't sure how it started but this does make her ponder how her addiction came to be. Where this habit could have sprung from? She explores the parts of her life that could have contributed to this. Her career as an actor couldn't really do it, so maybe it is the fact that her parents were heroin addicts for most of her young life? As she relays the details of this unusual upbringing it is clear that addiction is not one, simple thing but a complex and multi-faceted disease.

How did it make me feel?

North does a wonderful job of normalising a scarcely mentioned illness- and it is through this normalising - presenting herself as a (somewhat) put together person -that she pulls her audience into a safe space and transports them into a world where your childhood can include drug addiction.

This show is fantastic because it really had me challenging myself as an audience member. In the first half of the show I almost found myself resisting the idea, the light-hearted nature of a person addicted to "puns". But of course, the puns were just a symbol. For something so much deeper and interesting- and had me completely transfixed with her reveal. It made me feel judgemental and was a strong reminder that we really do not have any idea of where people have come from and what their story is. The use of flashing to and from a young version of herself is a lovely device that creates an image of the innocent and simplicity of a child and how susceptible they are to their surroundings,

Anything Else?

This show, with an absolute diamond of a concept is one of the few stories about addiction that illustrates how these all too common illnesses are so much more close to home than is often realised. It humanises the classic archetype of what a "drug addict" is, and completely smashes the mould on how society views these members of it's suburban communities.

Amy x