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AFTER BIRTH a multi-media installation and performance at the Royal Exchange, Manchester, by The Highlight Collective, putting the hidden issue of maternal mental health in public.
Set design and painting by David Haworth
"THIS IS NOT WHAT I’D IMAGINED.
IF I WAS YOUR BATHROOM YOU’D HAVE CALLED A PLUMBER BY NOW.
Original artwork by Naomi Kendrick
Part of Co:LAB Festival 2018. Created by the Royal Exchange Theatre's Open Exchange.
How do mothers voice they're struggling during a time society expects to be the best?
Come with a babe in arms, alone or within a group to a safe space where the unspoken is expressed visually, musically and through monologues. Engage with the installation on your own terms or attend a performance.
Let's change the language around motherhood to something more honest.
"Soft cheeks. The baby smell. Talc.
No one uses talc but it’s what you imagine.
And it’s all true. Soft cheeks. The baby smell.
But so is all this other stuff no one warned me about.
And I wonder would I warn someone? "
WRITER Nicola Schofield
VISUAL ARTIST Naomi Kendrick
MUSICIAN Jennifer Hardy
DIRECTOR Amy Hailwood
SET DESIGNER David Haworth
PERFORMER Sara Abanur
SOUND EDITING Karen Lauke
STAGE MANAGEMENT Maryam (Mims) Al-Jeddal
PRODUCER Grace Ng-Ralph
THE COLLABORATIVE PROCESS BEHIND AFTER BIRTH
After Birth is a collaboration between 3 artists from 3 art forms.
The drawings by visual artist Naomi Kendrick, the monologues written by playwright Nicola Schofield, and the soundscapes composed by singer/songwriter Jennifer Hardy will be presented as a scratch performance at Co:LAB Festival 2018 to experiment if this collision of collaboration works.
Set Designer David Haworth has created a beautiful space in which to house them. Amy Hailwood directs and Sara Abanur performs the monolouges on Sunday 22 Jul.
Visit highlight-collective.squarespace.com/after-birth/inspiration to read more about the collaborative process behind AFTER BIRTH.
THE FUTURE OF 'AFTER BIRTH'.
After the success of After Birth at the Royal Exchange, The Highlight Collective are seeking funding for a tour of the piece, in a 'pop-up' theatre space that will travel to non-theatre spaces, including Sure Start Centres. The installation will be held within a tent-like structure where mothers and babes in arms can feel safe and cradled, where the words and the music of the original production can be accessed in a non threatening way. The monologues will be performed at set times throughout the days of each residency.
Watch this space for further developments.