29 Jan - 23 Feb 2013, Tristan Bates Theatre
Photos by Richard Lakos
The London Stage
The most impressive part of this play is its script. It’s not just powerful but it’s incandescent. There is a profound intensity... that truly keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole way through. Sensitively written. Rambunctiously performed. Exemplary theatre at its best.
What's Peen Seen
The true star of the show is Isley Lynn’s script. It is staggeringly powerful, emotionally frank and does justice to a complex issue. Lean is an important play, and this is a brilliant production of it. Lynn has a bright future ahead.
- Ed Theakston
The New Current
"Lean" is a production that doesn't rest easy with you afterwards and for the past 12 hours I have been thinking of nothing else.
Then I realised it wasn’t the play that is wrong, it was me and my preconceptions and I realised how clever this production is and how brilliantly it has been written and performed.
- Rhiannon Lawson
Plays to See
Isley Lynn’s two-hander play is engaging, challenging and at times funny. - Sophie Nevrkla
The play stays with you when you leave - unsurprisingly. In this case, this is no bad thing.
A monumental success... I'd highly recommend this moving and important production. - Krista Lahey-James
A tense reflection on our relationship with food, with each other and with Countdown. Lynn is a graduate of the Royal Court Young Writers Programme and tackles tough issues in as head-on a manner as her fellow graduate, Polly Stenham. Lean manages to be both informative and sensitive, as well as gradually unravelling an unexpected twist.
- Lauren Paxman
Not so much an ode to love as a redemptive force but a battle cry for it. - Stephanie Gunner
Modern in feel and classical in structure, with tragedy at the heart of a compelling drama. - Christopher Adams
Lean is the very cleverly written first play by Isley Lynn. Tackling an issue as sensitive as Anorexia was never going to be easy, but the play unfolds effortlessly with the illness at it's epicentre. - Georgina Spenceley
Fresh… fascinating… boldly original – Soho Theatre
Unusual and striking – Royal Court Theatre
Brave, intelligent new writing by an exciting talent
- Tristan Bates Theatre
It tackles an important issue with sensitivity and dramatic power – Paines Plough
If you want to know what the future of British Theatre looks like, you have to see this show - Kayo Chingonyi
Utterly revolutionary... a paradigm shift in contemporary writing - Adam Cunis
I cannot recommend it highly enough; clever, touching, obscenely intimate, crushingly honest. - Dashiel Munding
The best and most powerful thing I've seen in 2013
- Jennifer Ball
Unashamedly frank about the motivating forces and consequences of anorexia – Henry Morris
Visceral, exciting, unlike any other new writing I've seen. Electrifying performances. Go! - Sarah Kosar
This play is a tour de force for two actors. I suppose there are still people around who think anorexia is a posh name for nothing very serious. It’s good to see a play that takes the problem seriously. – Peter Thompson
6 - 8 2015, Hackney Attic
20 - 24 Jan 2015, Corpus Playroom
Photos by Johannes Hjorth
Cambridge Theatre Review
Lean is a powerful, thought-provoking piece of drama about the psychological implications of anorexia. At times overwhelming, its unexpected humour and moments of intense tenderness make it a complex and brilliant production. // Lean does something unusual in its subject matter, handling the sensitive issue of anorexia without using familiar (though valid) tropes of celebrity culture or body image. Instead, based on the playwright’s own relationship with a male anorexic, it focuses more on the deeply complex psychological aspect of anorexia - Tara Lee
Her accurate depiction of one man’s battle with his obsessive behaviour and withdrawal from the world is what makes this play bold, important, and irrefutably worthy of this second run. - Charlotte Saul
But Lean, the superb debut of up-and-coming playwright Isley Lynn, managed to cut down and burn to the ground all of my expectations, defences and dignity. The striking climax of a finalé left me – and, as I was quick to check, at least 40% of the audience – looking like we were ready to crawl into the foetal position, try not to cry, and cry – a lot.
- Vica Germanova, 74 (Strong First)
Perhaps most importantly, Lean wasn’t just a play about anorexia – it took the illness and made it a central aspect, but beyond that built a fully-fledged drama: at times humourous, at times shocking, and never patronising. - Will Popplewell
20 - 24 April 2018, Wingate and Ring Theatres, NC USA
Photos by Leeden Rukstalis
22 - 30 May 2015, N16 Theatre
London Theatre 1
A powerful and gripping piece of theatre. - Terry Eastham