Vicki Manderson The Afflicted
The Afflicted is a new piece of dance theatre created by movement director Vicki Manderson alongside co-director Finn den Hertog, playwright Jake Jeppson and video designer Lewis den Hertog. The piece explores the subject of mass hysteria in teenage girls, taking its inspiration from a true story of eighteen girls in Le Roy, New York who were afflicted with a mysterious illness manifesting as physical and vocal ticks and twitches.
Taking the form of a documentary and examining tropes of the horror and mystery genre, the piece will use choreography, video and text to explore a fictional situation similar to the one the Le Roy girls experienced and look at how these young women dealt with something in their bodies that was beyond their control; how a community deals with unusual behaviour in its midst and what might happen if a contemporary society believed - as those in the past once did - that this illness was somehow supernatural. Wrought in to the piece too are questions of female identity, conformity and persecution.
“An explosive exploration into hysteria, female agency, sexuality” - Anna Hodgart, National Theatre of Scotland.