Willow Theatre Productions is a new theatre company based in Blackpool, whose focus is on creating intimate, powerful and thought-provoking pieces. The company is dedicated to putting women’s stories at the forefront, using works by female playwrights with strong female protagonists. This week, in association with Cou-Cou Theatre Productions, they bring Amanda Whittington’s touching and poignant play, Be My Baby, to Blackpool’s Grand Theatre Studio.
The play, set in 1964, featuring an all-female cast, tells the story of a group of unmarried young mothers who have been sent away to a mother and baby home to avoid the disgrace they have brought on their families by getting pregnant out of wedlock. The sixties might have been swinging for some but to be a young woman with child but no husband carried a huge stigma in those times, unlike today.
Sophie Coulon, Co-Founder of Willow Theatre Productions, who plays Mary Adams, told us “It was a perfect choice for our first production. Having toured and done a three week run at Edinburgh Fringe with this play many years ago, I am thrilled to be performing it once again at the beautiful Grand Theatre Studio. It has a very special place in my heart.”
Be My Baby reveals the stories of the unthinkable agony that many women went through when they were forced to give up their babies for adoption, in a time when they had no alternative .
Nikita Coulon, company co-founder and cast member, playing the role of Queenie, added, “Although Society has moved on and the stigma doesn’t exist to the same extent, the real stories of adoption are still not a widely talked about subject. We have found that the play touches many people, and for that we are honoured to be bringing it to life. We feel we owe it to all the mothers to tell their stories and speak out.”
During the play each of the characters reveals their personal secret and their journeys give us a glimpse of what it was like in the Sixties to be unmarried, pregnant and publicly shamed. The show has relevance for all ages of women today from young teens to those who grew up in the 60s.
Peppered with nostalgic music from the times, including well-known songs from the female icons of the decade, such as The Ronettes and The Dixie Cups, Be My Baby offers a nostalgic trip into the past for a snapshot of the times and highlights how attitudes have changed.
Make sure you catch one of just three performances of this thought provoking piece performed by a theatre company determined to showcase stories of strong women.
Be My Baby is at the Blackpool Grand Theatre Studio Friday 17 August 8pm and Saturday 18 August 3pm and 8pm. For more information or to book visit the Grand Theatre website or call 01253 290190.
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