- Eddie Harrison
- 12 August 2019
A loose sketch show assembled around a motherhood theme
The subject is motherhood, modern motherhood to be exact; what impact does IVF have on a woman's life? The question is one of those addressed in this cabaret-style show from London-based troupe A Drunken Sailor. Lesley Cook, Julia Munro and Kelda Holmes are the trio who take to the stage in air hostess uniforms; they welcome the audience to the 'fertility flight', but that's really just the frame for a series of blackout sketches on the subject of fertility, public breast-feeding and more. It's What To Expect When You're Expecting, but with a rather more British feel to the gags.
August 2019 brought some significant news stories about pregnant women; the general issue being complete strangers inclined to pass judgement, or invade space, and some of that annoyance informs the on-stage antics here. What's less apparent is what the appeal is of the show to those who reject societal norms about motherhood; at one point, there's a hijacking by a woman who refuses to be part of the rush to procreate.
She's one dissenting voice, but the flaw in the baby-go-round show is that it finds so much specific observational rather than universal humour; there's energy and skill in the performances, but the observations are unstructured and don't create any momentum. It's not enough to take popular songs (like 'Tomorrow Belongs to Me' from Cabaret) and slip IVF into the title; even Victoria Wood would have taken that as a jumping-off point, not an entire sketch. That said, this is a fun, lightweight show for mothers of all ages, and as a work in progress, there's plenty of scope for A Drunken Sailor to develop the theme here.
theSpace on the Mile, until 17 Aug (not 11), 12.05pm, £10–£12 (£8–£10).