The Rondo Theatre Company has handed the reins to a new Director to tell the story of the trials and tribulations of bringing up children.
Written by Amelia Bullmore (credits include writing for BBC Two’s infamous This Life and appearing on screen in Coronation Street and I’m Alan Partridge), Mammals is an insightful and often painfully amusing drama that opens a window on a woman’s struggles as she comes to terms with the sacrifices that she has made to be a mother.
Director Rob Dawson said: “I’ve reached that age where lots of my friends are having, or have, young children and while the joys of motherhood are obvious, no one talks about the tough bits. In an age of yummy mummies and competitive parenting, admitting difficulties can feel like failure. I wanted to direct Mammals because it’s an honest look at parenting and the strains it can place on relationships, and is written with real insight.”
While there are moments of darkness, Mammals also captures the comedy of family life with pinpoint accuracy; it was shortlisted for the What’s On Best New Comedy Award, in addition to winning the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.
Much of the comedy comes from the four and six-year-old daughters, characters rarely seen onstage due to the obvious difficulties in casting toddlers. The perfect solution: adult actors.
Rob added: “Casting the children, Jess and Betty, was my biggest challenge. I was worried I wouldn’t find actors up to the challenge. Mammals tells the story of a marriage in crisis, so while the children bring humour, the family unit has to be believable. I needn’t have worried. The auditions morphed into workshops with adults role-playing children’s games and from the chaos came the perfect sisters. I can’t wait to see the audience’s reactions.”
This bitterly comic glimpse of the breeding generation perfectly captures the joys and woes of young children and will feel frighteningly familiar for anyone who’s in, has ever been in, or will ever be in a family.
Mammals runs from Wednesday 27th March to Saturday 30th March, 7:30pm at The Rondo Theatre.
Tickets available for Bath box Office: http://www.bathboxoffice.org.uk/ or (01225) 463362