By Amanda Whittington.
Directed by Vivien Kerr.
The play opens to the Ronettes version of Be My Baby. The setting is St. Saviours, a Church of England Mother and Baby home, the time is 1964 and takes place over two months. Set before the introduction and availability of the contraceptive pill, the Mother and Baby Home was the only other alternative to a shotgun wedding and possibly years of an unhappy marriage.
The ‘swinging’ sixties music resonates throughout the play and young women’s spirit comes through as they join in singing to the music of the girl bands of the time. The lives of these 4 young, unmarried, pregnant women are unpicked and viewed both sympathetically and with humour.
There are 6 very strong, thought provoking and defiant female characters:
Mary, is 19, seven months pregnant – though it hardly shows – and her mother has brought her to the Mother and baby Home – the shame of Mary’s pregnancy cannot be known by her father or her parents’ friends. Mary is lively and spirited and tends to challenge Matron’s rules.
Mrs Adams – 40s-50s – worries about Mary’s future but needs to ‘keep up appearances’.
Dolores is 17 and three months pregnant but not by her boyfriend, Alfie; she is ignorant of how a baby is born.
Norma is 20, eight months pregnant and struggles with the realisation she will not have any contact with her baby after it is born.
Queenie is also 20 and 4 months pregnant – she is very knowledgeable about the birth and its aftermath… She has already had one baby which is looked after by her boyfriend’s mother.
Matron 50+ runs the institution with ruthless efficiency and sometimes a very little kindness.
The play balances loss and bereavement with humour, hope, pragmatism and resilience.
Rehearsals will be on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and there will probably be one or two extra rehearsals during the run up to the production. Reading copies will shortly be available from outside the box office, so please feel free to borrow a copy. Please return your copy when you have read it so that those waiting also have a chance to read the play too. Thank you.
So do come to the auditions and read for one of the characters – but if you can’t make one of the dates, or if you have any questions about the play or the production, please do contact me either by email: or ring on 01462 437898/07913500042