30 (3 stars)

This article is from 2019


Disappointing dystopian delve into the future of motherhood

Black Mirror-esque dystopian futures pull audiences in on morbid curiosity, and no theme does that as effectively as motherhood. In Susie Sillett's solo performance 30, she stars as Naomi, a prospective mother who must go through a process of simulations and tests to have a baby created for her.

The internal rules are never fully explained – do all mothers go through this process? Who is running this programme? Why do the simulations seem so focused on terrifying Naomi? Rather than the ambiguity adding tension, it instead takes away from it, creating a world that seems half-formed.

The themes of motherhood are familiar, but Sillett uses this to her advantage. It communicates the same timeless fears as new mothers today, creating a contrast between the universal anxiety of becoming a parent and the unfamiliar, unsettling surroundings.

While caring for her simulated baby, Sillett's character Naomi interacts with a simulated person, inside a simulated scenario. Although she is able to perform these scenes convincingly, the back-and-forth dialogue with a voice-over is awkwardly staged and comes off as a one-woman show wanting to be a two-hander. Her timid performance results in a disappointing climax, despite the emotional punch of her writing.

theSpace @ Surgeons Hall, run ended.


  • 3 stars

Abling Group Ltd with Susie Sillett One room, one baby, thirty days. Naomi's being tested for motherhood. If she passes, she can have a child, but her cousin failed six times and she's feeling nervous. The voices of her invigilators play over the tannoy while she stands alone with a cloth doll. Through simulations, the…