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Riveting performance as real life takes to Fringe stage

Baby Daddy, Edinburgh Fringe.

This one-woman show is real tour de force. You’ll know that if you were lucky enough to catch it at the Fringe. If you didn’t, watch out for it. If you ever get a chance to see it, don’t miss it.

It’s a searingly honest autobiographical piece in which Birmingham-based Elinor Coleman (above) uses words, original songs and a riveting performance to lay bare the world of a young single mum, with all its tears and laughter, joy and pain.

Nothing about Elinor’s life is off limits, from struggling with the stigma – real or perceived – of not being part of a regular nuclear family, to rejecting those closest to her, to searching for love and usually failing to find it.

Is anything held back? I couldn’t imagine what else there could be; no wonder the baby of the title won’t be allowed to watch this, not until she’s much older.

It’s provocative and it’s deeply moving. There’s tragedy and humour. All the self-doubt and anxiety of a mother dreading the inevitable question: “Where’s my daddy?” is brought to life.

But so is the love. This isn’t a nuclear family, but it’s a family.

The eponymous baby is a constant presence in spirit and in sound. At the end, around a recording of her singing, Elinor and her accompanist Ricardo Rocha weave a lovely song - and at least one grown man was wiping away a tear.

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