On Saturday 11 March, ‘Scruffy,’ a fun yet poignant one-woman show, came to The Drill.

The show saw University of Lincoln graduate Rosie Hollingworth return to the city for a highly personal performance.

University of Lincoln graduate Rosie perfectly captures the essence of nine-year-old Maisie, and her childlike expressions only make the performance more poignant

‘Scruffy’ drops you into the life of cute and colourful nine-year-old Maisie. She’s thrilled to introduce herself and show you all her favourite things in her bedroom.

However, it soon becomes clear that this isn’t her bedroom at home. She’s visited by a teacher – rather than going to school – and she has to phone her parents to talk to them.

There’s also the small tube on her face which twists up into her nose. Maisie matter-of-factly explains that this sends nutrition directly into her stomach.

She suffers from Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID), an uncommon eating disorder in which an individual avoids certain foods or restricts what they eat.

Rosie suffered from ARFID as a child, with Scruffy being based on her own experiences. Raising awareness of the condition was an important aim of the show.

While ARFID is not named during the performance, the show certainly shines a sensitive light on what it is like to struggle with food, particularly as a child.

There are moments of aching sadness: the agony of trying to bite a Kit Kat chunky, and a family outing to Pizza Express that goes distressingly wrong.

However, the show also abounds with laugh-out-loud comedy, music, and dance. Maisie always bounces back and takes everything in her stride, showing the undeniable strength of those who fight eating disorders.

From left to right: Holly Cowley, Rosie Hollingworth, and Meg Hollingworth. The company are committed to personal, heartfelt stories – Scruffy is a testament to this

Rosie’s acting also perfectly captures the energy and expressions of a child, including the wide-eyed earnestness and the little glances to check that you’re listening to what she is saying.

The production was staged by Sugar Theatre, the company Rosie runs with her sister Meg, and Holly Cowley. They are committed to creating work from the heart – Scruffy is a testament to this.

It was both touching and entertaining, a difficult topic skilfully balanced with humour and light-heartedness. I’m excited to see what Sugar Theatre do next!