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Be My Baby

From:   Jenny Robson, Lancashire evening News

Review: Be My Baby – Waterloo and Crosby Theatre Company

Starry Nights Theatre, Litherland – 10 to 12 July 2014

The swinging ‘60s were the days of freedom and choice but there were victims – some of whom were, dare we say it, unmarried mothers!

Lucky ones who ‘got into trouble’ were marched down the aisle with the groom shaking in his boots ahead of the figurative shotgun.

Others were packed off to relatives or special homes to give birth before their babies were whisked off to a childless couple who would be able to ‘give them a better life’.

Thirteen -year- old Anna McKenna is outstandingly mature as Mary, the nineteen-year-old TSB clerk with a grammar school education, who has found herself pregnant.  There is no question that Mary will not obey her mother (Pauline Barry) as she takes her off to St Saviour’s Mother and Baby Home.

Thrust into the same predicament as three other girls they all become friends.  Queenie (Emerald Hickey), Dolores (Erin Bretherton) and Norma (Alexandra Appleton) do a great job of bringing their characters to life as they chat in the laundry relieving the monotony by singing along to records on the radio.  Although pregnant none of them is worldly – they don’t even know how babies are born.

Pamela Foy is perfect as the Matron who has to uphold her position of keeping the girls in order and persuading them to give up their babies for adoption.  But we get the feeling that, underneath it all, she is really sympathetic to their plight.

Leo Appleton’s direction is excellent as it flits through the four-scene set of this fine production – well-acted and cleverly staged – with nostalgic music from The Ronettes.   

Feeling very emotional we leave the theatre wondering about all the other girls who have been in similar predicaments – young girls dreaming of love but left only with shattered dreams, violated bodies and an emptiness that will never leave them.

9.5 / 10

Leo Appleton,
25 Aug 2014, 02:35