ACT Theatre Reviews 2021-2022

BE MY BABY by Amanda Whittington Directed by Alan Hargreaves Burnley Garrick Theatre Group Amanda Whittington’s bittersweet play is set in a Church of England institution where young, unmarried mothers-to-be spend the duration of their pregnancy. On birth, the baby is handed over to adoptive parents; the mothers see their child for only a moment. The year is 1964. We opened to a room in the institution, with two basic red iron beds. The walls were mainly bare, adorned with an odd picture and wooden cross. On the right of the stage was Matron’s office. This was broken up with bed sheets hung up across a washing line when our four patients were on washing duties. Both set and costumes were splendid throughout, easily capturing the period. The cast was excellent throughout, I couldn’t single out a performance. The prompt wasn’t heard once, and to my ears there wasn’t a fluffed line or any hint of first night nerves. A special mention must go out to Holly Bowland who, due to Maisie Leaver being taken ill, stood in with about 2 days’ notice. Luckily Holy had played the role a few months prior. If it hadn’t been announced before the play, you wouldn’t have noticed. She fitted in seamlessly with the action. Each member of the outstanding cast brought something individual to their role. Lauren Jackson played Mrs Adams. This could easily have been a onenote part, but Lauren conveyed her character’s inner struggle. She was incredibly proud of her daughter, and her actions were not merely to protect her reputation but to also to protect her daughter. Her slightly softened attitude at the end of the play was totally believable and subtly brought out by Ms Jackson. Dolores was played by Rachel Bailey. Rachel is no stranger to the stage