Spotlight on type 1 diabetes as three Edinburgh Festival Fringe shows tackle the condition

Posted on 01 August 2018

Jade Byrne performing at Edinburgh

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe gets underway this week, with no less than three shows shedding light on type 1 diabetes this year.

A one-woman show called Pricks, a teenage girl with her dog called Katie & Pip and the stand-up routine Blizzard from comedian and JDRF supporter, Ed Gamble, all use the challenges, misconceptions and invisible nature of living with the condition as inspiration for their shows.

Actor and Pricks writer, Jade Byrne, was four years old when she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Living with the condition for 28 years has provided her with the inspiration for her Edinburgh Fringe show, as she explained to JDRF:

“The show educates people about what it’s like to live with a lifelong illness like type 1 diabetes, its differences to type 2 and what it’s like for your family to deal with – but in a very funny and entertaining way. You’ll laugh and most probably cry too. It’s really about family and caring for each other. I’m really proud of it.”

During the making of her show, Jade worked with over 40 other people with type 1 diabetes as well as parents of children with the condition, and the show includes their stories too.

In Katie & Pip, the bond between a 15-year-old girl with type 1 diabetes and her dog explores the way in which type 1 diabetes can be an invisible condition, and takes audiences on the journey of life’s extreme highs and lows.

The makers of the show,  Rob Gregson and Charlotte Berry of Tin Can People, told JDRF:

“We were inspired to make the show due to the misrepresentation in the media surrounding type 1 diabetes, to challenge the stigma around type 1 diabetes and to raise further awareness of this very serious condition and of invisible disabilities in general. “

Shedding light through entertainment

Ed Gamble performing

Ed Gamble regularly performs at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, but it is only this year that he has decided to talk about the details and reality of having type 1 diabetes.

In an online article Ed discusses how being effective at observational comedy requires the audience to know about the subject matter – something that is not very easy with type 1 diabetes.

While the three acts will be using entertainment to shed important light on the condition, collections for JDRF  will also mean money is raised to help fund important research towards finding the cure.

  • Pricks runs from 1 – 27 August, 2:15pm at The Cellar – Pleasance Courtyard, suitable for ages 12+.
  • Katie & Pip runs from 3 – 12 August, 13:20 at The Old Lab, Summerhall, suitable for ages  8+.
  • Blizzard runs from 1 – 26 August, 19.40 at the Pleasance Courtyard, suitable for ages  14+.

You can find ticket information for all shows here.

Checking type 1 diabetes blood glucose levels

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