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Refreshing take on the perils of parenting

The cast of In The Motherhood, Albany Theatre, Coventry

In The Motherhood, Albany Theatre, Earlsdon, Coventry, February 18 only

THERE’S no escaping it, parenting is tough. Whether you’re doing it right is a source of constant anxiety, and that self-doubt can spiral out of control when pesky competitive parents are thrown into the mix: Everyone knows at least one mum with squeaky clean children and the seemingly perfect life, who appears to judge others.

No, motherhood isn’t always the delightful companionship it’s sometimes made out to be, and it was refreshing to see this often-unspoken reality played out on stage when In The Motherhood appeared at Coventry’s Albany Theatre, the penultimate stop on its nationwide tour.

It’s the story of how one mum, Jacs, tries to make an impression on the school PTA and win the approval of Nita and Bonnie, the two mums who run it. As the drama plays out and the full, shocking extent of the PTA’s fundraising is revealed, poignant themes are raised about motherhood in general.

They include feelings of identity loss and the pressure to live up to impossible standards even when every woman "in the motherhood" is united in struggle.

This special matinee performance was child-friendly and the show was peppered with a few baby screams from the audience and the incoherent ramblings of a toddler. But this did nothing to spoil the performance which was fantastically delivered by the three actors, including Lauren Crace as Jacs.

The well-performed monologues of frustrations raise knowing laughs and huge applause.

And this original production deftly avoids falling into the trap of clichéd "daddy bashing". lt’s just a shame there were many empty seats and more mums (and dads) weren’t there to enjoy it. For anyone planning to take children to the final showing in Luton on February 21, a warning: Watch out for a few expletives.

The matinee performance might be child-friendly, but the script hasn’t been edited for young ears.


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