Powerful One Woman Show explores Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

Shelley O'Brien in She Wins All the RacesShelley O’Brien brings her moving one woman show – tag lined as a “Tragicomedy with Biscuits” – to the Scottish Storytelling Centre on Thursday 13 October as part of the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival.

She Wins All the Races is set in the 1970s and tells the story of an intelligent, happy little girl who loves life, her two brothers and stealing the priest’s biscuits. But her world is blown apart by the discovery that her brothers won’t live past their sixteenth birthdays.

This dynamic, heartening and quirky show about a little girl growing up with the certainty of loss is based on Shelley’s real life experience of growing up with two brothers who were born with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

It’s a play full of humour and courage, and a fitting tribute to the bravery of Shelley’s brothers which incorporates digital projection and an original soundscape to produce a compelling piece of theatre, with music by Patrick Dineen.

Edinburgh based theatre practitioner and musician Pete Baynes – a founder member of Mad Alice Theatre Company who has recently returned from playing for Dolly Parton at the Dollywood Festival of Nations – has been instrumental in the creation of the show, leading the devising process and being a major contributor to the development of the script, as he explains:

“It started with a wish to take on the challenge of making a one-woman show and Shelley’s compelling personal story about a forbidden book, which upon reading cataclysmically changed her life. After months of exploration, reflection and analysis we began to find ways of telling that story.

A wonderful aspect of devised theatre is that it’s about people working together. The final stage of that process is when the audience comes to play its part, which is when the whole thing comes to life.”

Produced by Mad Alice Theatre Company in association with Action Transport Theatre, funded by Arts Council and commissioned by Queen’s Hall Arts Hexham.

For ages 13+
Thu 13 Oct, 7.30pm (1hr 15)