FEEDBACK FROM AUDIENCES AT CO:LAB FESTIVAL 2018
REVIEW ON AFTER BIRTH AT CO:LAB FESTIVAL 2018
By Circles and Stalls on Co:LAB Festival 2018
"Highlight Collective’s After Birth was a multi-media installation exploring the huge gap between society’s expectations of motherhood and the reality of life post-pregnancy for some women.
Through playwright Nicola Schofield’s plaintive monologues, one woman recounts her harrowing experience of giving birth and becoming a mother. Her story is filled with confusion, guilt and a sense of failure – the language is visceral and the imagery painful and at times horrifying. “This is not what I’d imagined. If I was your bathroom you’d have called a plumber by now. I’m leaking”.
Sara Abanur (recently seen in the Royal Exchange Young Company’s Mixtape) gave a powerfully contained and deeply moving performance as a woman feeling desperately lost and alone in the middle of everyone else’s joy.
New mothers had been encouraged to attend the performances (all of which were ‘relaxed’) and there was an added poignancy in hearing Abanur’s character express feelings of deep sadness and distress while the babies in the audience looked on curiously or, in one case, noisily blew bubbles."