Pregnancy loss is experienced by a great number of women. What the parents go through is rarely discussed and often considered taboo. It is part of the realm of the ‘unspoken’, or the ‘unvoiced’. It is buried.
I am a performer and collaborator with Theatre Re, and first joined their project BIRTH 6 months into its development. When I came on board, the company had been exploring the idea of secrets in families, unearthing the parallels between our own lives and the lives of our parents and grandparents. What we uncovered was that a common “unspoken secret” within our family trees was pregnancy loss. And so, the story of Sue, Katherine and Emily was born.
BIRTH is the story of three generations of women from the same family who are all linked together by an invisible web. It traces their journey of self-discovery, acceptance and hope. As we progressed, I began to feel a real responsibility to portray this story truthfully and sensitively.
When I came on board, the show had already established a relationship with the charity Aching Arms but during my own research I discovered the charity Tommy’s who also support bereaved mothers and fathers after the loss of a baby. I was really surprised and felt quite ignorant to the statistics surrounding miscarriage and stillbirth. I suddenly understood that it was something that everyone is touched by at some point in their life.
I love challenging my body and mind both as a performer and outside of my work, so I jumped at the opportunity to sign up for the Brighton Marathon and raise money for Tommy’s. Fundraising for the race allowed me to open-up a discussion about pregnancy loss to not only friends and family but also colleagues and friendly strangers buying cakes from my charity bake sales.
During our preview at the London Mime Festival, I remember feeling really fatigued as a result of my training, but in that moment I realised the urgency of the work we’re doing and how important it is that we tell this story effectively. Taking on this challenge really showed me the possibility of how we as theatre makers can elevate our work when it becomes personal and we try to find truth in what we’re doing.
26th February 2020 The Ffwrnes
Park St, Llanelli, United Kingdom, SA15 3YE
28th February 2020 Richard Burton Theatre
The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Castle Grounds, Cathays Park, Cardiff, CF10 3ER
029 2039 139
14th – 16th May 2020 The MAC
10 Exchange St West, Belfast, BT1 2NJ
028 9023 5053
20th May 2020 Harlow Playhouse
Playhouse Square, Harlow CM20 1LS
22nd – 23rd May 2020 The Lowry
Pier 8, The Quays, Salford, M50 3AZ
0343 208 6000
28th May 2020 The Courtyard, Hereford
Edgar Street, Hereford, HR4 9JR
2nd June 2020 South Hill Park Arts Centre
Ringmead, Bracknell, Berkshire, RG12 7PA
4th June 2020 Gulbenkian
University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NB
7th October The Point
Leigh Road, Eastleigh, Hants SO50 9DE
023 8065 2333
8th – 9th October The Connaught Theatre
Union Place, Worthing, BN11 1LG
01903 206 206
20th October Lakeside Arts
University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD
0115 846 7777
22nd October The Lawrence Batley Theatre
Queen’s Square, Queen Street, Huddersfield, HD1 2SP
01484 430 528
23rd October The Civic
Hanson Street, Barnsley, S70 2HZ