Reviewed by: Fringefeed
Review by Maia Sharrock Churchill | 24 January 2020

It’s not every day that you start a theatre show with a guitar solo. Then again, The Dirty Mother is not an everyday show. It is a show which tells a story meant to be forgotten, and yet it is a story that everyone has; the story of birth.

Based on the real experiences of Michelle Hall and her not-so-graceful emergence into the world of motherhood, The Dirty Mother makes excellent use of mixed-media storytelling to give an unfiltered account of pregnancy, labour, and postpartum depression.

Through drama, physical comedy, music, visual projection and ‘Yummy Mummy’ yoga, this show will pull you by the hair and drag you between moments of pure chaotic energy – coloured lights blazing, electric guitars riffing and party poppers… popping – to heavy and haunting scenes which will linger with you as you leave the theatre; tip-toeing around the pomegranate seeds spat-out onto the stage floor.

As much as it is a tongue-in-cheek comedy, it is also a commentary on the struggles faced by modern mothers; from wide-reaching effects of economic struggle to the dehumanising politics of public healthcare, to the unfair expectations placed on women by both society and stuck-up in-laws to stay small, silent and ‘sensible’.

To drive home the point, there is swearing and screaming abound, and bright pink granny-panties are worn for the world to see, so make sure you go in prepared.

The show also features a surprising amount of meta-commentary into the struggles of ‘birthing’ a new experimental theatre show into the world – especially one with a story that ‘isn’t meant to be told’ – which can be appreciated by creatives of any caliber.

Funny, heart-wrenching and raw, you don’t have to be a ‘dirty mother’ to enjoy this show, but you may want to go and hug your own mother by the end of it.