Townsend Rose Productions Ltd Present
A Rehearsed Reading of Deborah's Children by Francesca Rose and Iain Whitmore
We are delighted to be welcoming Glynne Steele who is directing the Reading. Glynne is an actor, teacher, workshop leader and director. His recent work includes directing the award winning drama “Empty Beds” (by Julia Cranney) At Edinburgh.
Deborah’s Children has been over 2 years in development and this Reading will be the latest result of further work on the script from a full three-day workshop beforehand, directed by Glynne. The cast members are all professional working actors.
Our story revolves around an antenatal class, attended by 5 couples and a single woman prior to the birth of their babies. For most of them, it is a first time experience although two of the Fathers- to- be have other families. The play is topped and tailed with a reunion scene, split into two, and set in a pub. In between, the play tracks the progress of the characters, both within and outside of the classes, as they prepare for parenthood.
Although the story examines the shift in attitudes and relationships within the class, the overriding themes however are of loss and disappointment. This is not simply loss in the tangible sense, but moreover the loss of expectation when things fail to go to plan. Current thinking recognises the links between significant emotional health disturbance and unmanaged expectations.
Further, as the individual stories of the characters unfold, there are, interwoven into the fabric of the play uncomfortable and shadowy questions around the mental health of the class members. Some are thrown into sharp relief as a result of the class subject matter:
At first glance, the appeal of this play undeniably falls within the middle class parent audience. The classes upon which the story is based however, reflect considerable diversity. The oft-ignored threat to emotional and mental wellbeing, precipitated by significant life changes (even the happy ones) widens the relevance for all of us and keeps the content current and modern. The play bounces the audience back and forth between hilarity and tragedy as it put the above under scrutiny. Above all, it invites us to reflect on our own experiences, whether in relation to birth or emotional health…. if we have the courage.
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