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Review for Pricks the Play

  • 3 min read

Pricks the Play actor Jade Byrne

Image courtesy of Pricks, Jade Byrne, Blackbird Creative Arts


Review for Pricks the Play by Jade Byrne

Now on YouTube:

Running time: 57 minutes

Libre Life Rating: ★★★★★

Pricks the Play, is now available to watch on YouTube, after debuting at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2018, followed by a successful UK theatre tour which received great reviews and was very popular with type 1s. It’s one of the best examples I have found for raising awareness of type 1 diabetes, and I would even go as far as recommending it as an essential watch for not only type 1s but also for those around them too. It should be an integral part of the information given out at diagnosis!

Performed by Jade Byrne, an actor and the writer of the play, with type 1 diabetes, this is essentially a one-woman show with Jade recounting her diabetes diagnosis at the age of 4 and updating the audience on the number of pricks (i.e. injections or glucose checks) she’s had, using a whiteboard as a device the story updates highlighting how diabetes has affected her at different stages of her life.

Jade Byrne performing in Pricks the Play

Image courtesy of Pricks, Jade Byrne, Blackbird Creative Arts

Jade created the show with the aim to “educate through entertainment about what it (type 1 diabetes) actually is and I want the entire world to see it”. Her performance is both captivating and very relatable. It will almost definitely resonate with its natural audience of fellow type 1s although it has wider appeal too. I’d certainly recommend getting family and friends to watch it with you.

"Pricks the Play is a raw and poignant depiction of living with Type 1 diabetes. Jade Byrne's performance is incredibly moving and relatable. It's a must-watch for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the condition." @TheatreLover24.

From the moment the lights dim and Jade takes the stage, it is evident that she has the innate ability to connect with the audience and we become immersed in Jade's world, feeling her emotions and authenticity strongly.

Jade Byrne performing with Dennis the Menace

Image courtesy of Pricks, Jade Byrne, Blackbird Creative Arts

Much of the first part of the show involves Jade’s interaction with a Dennis the Menace toy and this works well to informally educate the audience about diabetes and Jade’s experience as a child with type 1. As Jade grow up, voices from others are heard that enhance and explain further various aspects of diabetes management whilst gently moving the story timeline on.

Jade effortlessly weaves together personal and humorous anecdotes with heartfelt moments and poetry, describing her life and the challenges she faces dealing with the grind of daily diabetes management, much of which will be really eye-opening to those with no, or little, knowledge of the burden that diabetes brings. She makes good use of the set and props and moves around the stage very energetically at some points leaving me wondering if her glucose levels are going to bring on a hypo – they don’t.

Jade Byrne performing in Pricks the Play with finger in mouth.

Image courtesy of Pricks, Jade Byrne, Blackbird Creative Arts

The play's strength lies in its ability to educate and raise awareness about type 1 diabetes while avoiding any sense of preachiness. Jade's storytelling ensures that the information feels organic and never overwhelming. Through her words, she dispels many diabetes-related myths, misconceptions and stigma along the way.

To sum it up, Pricks the Play is funny, entertaining, and very engaging. It feels very intimate and the simple yet effective set design and lighting serve to enhance the focus on Jade, who simply shines. Her delivery has much impact, evoking empathy and understanding. It is likely to leave a lasting impression on those watching and hopefully gone some way to not just increasing awareness of the condition but understanding too. I certainly felt that Jade had achieved her aim.


About Jade

Jade is an accomplished actor and has appeared on TV in Casualty, Inspector George Gently and Mount Pleasant. She has also authored a children’s book, Daisy Donald and has her own diabetes-related accessories for sale on Etsy. Jade has more projects in progress including Pricks Short Film (a new production based on Pricks the Play).

Find Pricks the Play on YouTube here:

Find out more about Jade Byrne here:


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