Jack Thorne’s debut play When You Cure Me is a drama about being very young and in love – and coping with serious illness at the same time. It received its first workshops as part of the National Youth Theatre’s Short Nyts season in August 2004, directed by Vicky Jones. The play was subsequently commissioned by the Bush Theatre, London, and was first performed there on 16 November 2005.
The play's action is set in the bedroom of a teenage girl (Rachel), in Reading, over a period of three months. Rachel and Peter, both seventeen, have been going out for six months, but Rachel has been the victim of a brutal sexual attack that has left her scarred and bedbound. She doesn’t want her mum to fuss, she doesn’t want Alice to pretend she’s her best friend, and she certainly doesn’t want Alice’s boyfriend telling bad jokes at her bedside. The only person she wants is Peter, but Peter doesn’t know what he wants.
In his introduction to Jack Thorne Plays: One (Nick Hern Books, 2014), Thorne writes of When You Cure Me: 'I think it’s a play less about someone getting better, and more about someone learning how to recover, and how to help the people around her recover too.'
The Bush Theatre premiere was directed by Mike Bradwell and designed by Penelope Challen, with Samuel Barnett as Peter, Morven Christie as Rachel, Daniel Bayle as James, Lisa McDonald as Alice and Gwyneth Strong as Angela.