This is an clip from Gemma Christie’s play, Gemma Climbs Her Mountain, performed in the UK in 2014 at Media City, Salford.
Gemma and producer Chris Salt developed the script the script for the play from her diary and from interviews with other ME patients and professionals including, professor Simon Carding, Lady Mar, Dr. Charles Shepherd and Dr. Nigel Speight.
“This was the first time I had been on stage since M.E. put an end to my performing career, but I was fortunate to be surrounded by a cast and crew that did all they possibly could to accommodate the challenges I face,” said Gemma.
The playbill described the fragility of creating art as someone with ME:
“Both Gemma and the team have known all along that Gemma herself might not be well enough to perform tonight. If she makes it through it will be a huge achievement for her, if she falters then the achievement will be no less impressive. For the team supporting her, this is also a test.
We begin tonight, as we have begun the last four days of rehearsal, entering the unknown; a glimpse into the world of the M.E. patient where energy and health place everyday on a knife-edge.”
“We were hoping to go further with it but, unfortunately, it got turned down for further arts council funding,” Gemma writes. “But, on a personal level, it was a hugely cathartic experience for me and allowed me to move on from a lot of the hurt I felt about how you are treated when you have ME. How powerful it is when you are given the space to tell your own story!”