Hannah Moscovitch has teamed up with Maev Beatty and Ann-Marie Kerr to share an immensely personal, highly theatrical and yet viscerally real story of motherhood. The trials of becoming a mother, and then the intense, challenging, terrifying world of being a mother.
While the story is intriguing, it does not, of course, reflect everyone’s personal experiences. It couldn’t. Motherhood is a myriad of experiences, all slightly different than the other. But a good story doesn’t necessarily reflect one’s own experiences exactly; rather it triggers memories and thoughts about your own experiences. Things you had forgotten, or pushed away. Recognition of a sentiment. In this, Moscovitch is immensely successful.
Maev Beatty is a force. Her performances are known to be filled with emotional truth, and this is no different. What is truly fantastic here is the sheer range she displays in matters of minutes; jumping in and out of the character of Hannah to the character of Maev, performing performance, rehearsal, the reality of shifting focus in motherhood beautifully mirrored in the shape of the play and its performance.
Director Ann-Marie Kerr creates beautiful images; dangerous and vulnerable, while also incredibly strong. The inventive use of water and projection and audio/video recording, coupled with stunning lighting design by Leigh Ann Vardy created spaces out of nothing, evocative images and pictures in every moment. It created tension without being tense, and a specific feeling of community, amplified by the plexiglass reflection where the audience could somewhat, at times, see themselves on the stage, too.
My only dislike, would be the final few moments. While the images were beautiful, evocative of a womb, and then of reflection of the self, I felt that it lacked the same energy and purpose as the earlier moments…the urgency faded too quickly.
On the whole, I appreciated the informality of the structure, the work that felt inherently female. This work has a momentum, an urgency, and an intensity. As the artists say in their notes, and in the script itself; there isn’t real work about motherhood. People don’t talk about miscarriage, or the reality of childbirth and its many permutations enough. They don’t talk about the anxiety of carrying first in the womb, and then in your arms. The struggle to continue to be a person and not just a mom, but at the same time, being shaped by motherhood every day. And if we consider how many audience members and theatre makers are women, that just doesn’t make sense. I applaud the artists for their courage in making and sharing this intensely personal and vulnerable story. It encourages me to share mine.