Review: Birth at Pleasance Courtyard

Theatre Re are no strangers to exploring sensitive and often unspoken subjects. Last year they brought to the world a play about dementia. This year they open our eyes to the subject of miscarriage, an ordeal many women experience but is often considered a ‘taboo’ and swept under the carpet.

Sweeping over the cast and simplistic set is a giant white sheet which is manipulated and mushroomed to represent eight months pregnant Emily’s miscarriage as well as being used to magically unveil the characters in her life. White sheets are abundant in physical theatre shows but Theatre Re succeeds in utilising them artistically to delicately enhance their piece.

Guillaume Pigé’s direction and synthesis of corporeal mime is effortlessly articulate and translates metaphors with a silky sharpness that words would struggle to hone. The play follows three generations of women and their experiences around birth and loss as we see Emily discover her grandmother’s journal. The piece does not shy away from stillness in its movements but it takes a while for the storyline to find its feet and flow and often the pace dwindles. Alex Judd’s live music gives the piece an enriched cinematic quality. The music is delightful, however, is prone to dictating how the audience should feel; the few moments of silence within the piece quietly exude power.

Mime compliments these unspoken experiences and Theatre Redeliver to the audience a piece that is graceful, poignant and impregnated with hope.

Birth runs at Pleasance Courtyard – Pleasance Beyond, 12:00, Aug 6-11, 13-25

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