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EDINBURGH 2019: BWW Review: WITH CHILD, Pleasance Courtyard

EDINBURGH 2019: BWW Review: WITH CHILD, Pleasance Courtyard

EDINBURGH 2019: BWW Review: WITH CHILD, Pleasance Courtyard

In Clare Pointing's spectacular solo show, we meet six characters, all visibly pregnant, but not always acknowledging this.

We encounter a judgemental, hummus-eating gym-goer, caught up in what she sees as women flaunting their bodies. Our second character is willing to leave her husband to be mothered again, followed by a jaded middle-class woman, rather into flower arranging, hilariously stating "I'd never eat a kebab" (as this is far beneath her!) whilst obsessing over a childhood friendship with a lady who frankly sounds better off without her whiny acquaintance.

Perhaps the sweetest and most naïve person we meet is the zumba class-lover finally finding her strength against a controlling husband, where we invest in her transformation. Then there is the racist, nosy neighbour, displaying her chillingly dangerous opinions - a nod to the current political and social divisions - and finally a girl we may perceive as a young 'chav' single mum.

The final two characters, in particular, create a huge impact. We've all met these women and these women have judged us, made us feel inadequate and placed unrealistic expectations on us in forms of pointless hurtful comments, but worse still - we may have behaved in the same way.

That is one of the real strengths of the piece: the way in which it holds a mirror up to both us, the audience, and society itself. The final character reminds us that it's not OK to judge her and she will call you out for your behaviour. No one knows what each of our challenges are, and essentially a little support and positivity goes a long way when you're sleep-deprived and barely coping.

Pointing, in creating these characters, challenges our preconceptions, and raises the question of why we rarely see pregnant women fully represented on screen or stage.

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From This Author Christiana Rose