What if you woke up to find your body was slowly shutting down? Unable to walk, talk or blink and nobody knows why …
When Guillain Barré Syndrome affected Adam Pownall it caused full paralysis within days.
Getting Better Slowly tells his inspiring story of recovery through new writing, sound and movement.
Funny, moving, and honest, Adam’s journey through illness and rehabilitation – including months re-learning how to walk and talk invites audiences to consider how they would deal with an unexpected illness or accident, and explores how it feels when your closest relationship is with the illness that’s holding you back.
At the age of 26, in the space of three weeks, Adam Pownall went from being a fit and healthy dancer and performer to a paralysed man unable to blink unaided. Getting Better Slowly is the story of his two and half year battle back to health, from learning to walk and talk again to the movement classes that kept him going to the first time he managed to play football again. Through speech, movement, sound and verbatim text taken from interviews with Adam and his family, the show follows him from diagnosis to rehabilitation, capturing his highs and lows to create an inspirational piece that asks the audience how they might deal with an unexpected illness or accident.
2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the first diagnosis of the disease by Doctors Georges Guillian and Jean Alexandre Barré. The condition, in which the immune system damages the nerve cells causing muscle weakness and paralysis, has no known cause, though it is thought to be triggered by an infection or virus. It affects one in 100,000 people, and there has recently been an increase in cases in countries that have experienced Zika virus outbreaks.
The Cast and Crew
Creative Producer – Adam Pownall
Director – Tilly Branson
Movement Director – Marc Brew
Writer – Nick Wood
Composer – Poetical Machines Ltd
Designer – Kate Unwin
Lighting Design – Howell Thomas