‘My experiences of mental illness are ugly and erratic and irrational’… Frankie Thompson. Photograph: Linda Nylind/The Guardian
Guardian, The (London, England)
Author/Byline:Chris Wiegand

Catts, which is a highly physical show performed in gym gear, also brought the challenge of working out in public – a difficult proposition because of her history of exercise bulimia, a condition in which binge-eating and over-exercising are combined. A few years ago, there was a summer when she would wake each day at 5am to swim, then walk for miles just chewing gum, and return home to eat several loaves of bread. She says how profound she finds the version of Neil Sedaka’s Going Nowhere performed by Lena Zavaroni, the singer diagnosed with anorexia as a child star. The treadmill on stage reflects that summer: “I was walking so much but I was totally paralysed, stuck. Chewing and chewing, walking and walking, not swallowing. It was the darkest time.”

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