Be My Baby review

Kingston Bagpuize Drama Group

Be My Baby by Amanda Whittington

25th – 27th November 2010

This play, set in a 1960s maternity home for unmarried mothers gave us an insight into the bravado and heartaches of the young girls who found themselves in that situation. We follow the fortunes of Mary who is being forcibly admitted by her mother Mrs Adams (Andrea Spencer) to the home to have her baby, so that the ‘shame’ would not be made public and discovered by her father. Mary was played very confidently by Hermione Howson as she gradually becomes accepted by her fellow inmates. Leader of the inmates, the frightening Queenie, played strongly by Bryony Harding, ruled over the lesser-witted Delores – Becky Kent, who played the part suitably dim and the shy Norma, played by Gemma Yates.

The four girls acted well as a team and really gelled. This was particularly evident in the singing of hits by the Shangri- Las, Ronnettes and the Dixie Cups. The meshing in of the songs was skilfully done by the sound guys Rob Hall and Rob Bateman. It has to be noted that the transition from unaccompanied singing by Queenie, to the recorded version was spot on.

The home was presided over by Matron (Sally Lacey), who was very much in control and made everyone (including me) shiver at her commands. The cast managed to bring out the humour provoked by such situations and the pathos as the girls eventually gave birth and the babies taken for adoption.  Norma’s despair and searching for her ‘lost’ baby was particularly poignant. Mrs Adams dilemma and eventual acquiescence was brilliantly portrayed by Andrea Spencer.

The whole cast seemed to have a good relationship with each other and this contributed to quality of this production. The set was very appropriate with some authentic touches. The use of the stage to provide both bedroom and Matron’s Office was very cleverly arranged.

Congratulations are due to the directors, Mike Lacey and Sarah Curran for a brave choice of play, which they managed to pull off with a great deal of success.

A thoroughly enjoyable evening.

Nigel James