Be My Baby
Posted: 08 Oct 2009
Be My Baby – Gala Theatre, Durham
It wasn’t all bra-burning, free love and the Pill in the 1960s.
Liberation just wasn’t on the agenda for many pregnant unmarried girls who were packed off to institutions to give birth away from society’s prying eyes – with babies immediately taken away for adoption whether the mother liked it or not.
The physical and psychological fall-out of this practice is explored in Be My Baby, a stark play by Amanda Whittington.
In this production directed by the Gala’s own Simon Stallworthy the action is interspersed with pop music from the ‘60s, songs of romantic love which mirror what the pregnant girls – despite their condition – believe in.
The atmosphere of blithe ignorance about childbirth of three of the group of four teenagers contrasts graphically with the scene when the main character Mary gives birth. We’re spared a simulation, but the screams and blood-stained sheets tell the story.
An all-female cast of six gave finely judged performances, never overplaying the broad range of emotions each has to portray.
In short, a realistic tale of teenage pregnancy with, apparently, no happy ending.