Babybox is hilarious, touching and will make you appreciate the highs and lows of womanhood.
Babybox is a new British play that looks at the lives of two sisters, both facing issues with their identities as women. The show begins with the two young sisters discussing the gradual transition from childhood to adolescence before taking the audience through snapshots of their lives, as they mature and learn, piecing together the story of how two women both lost and rediscovered their purposes in life.
The book, written by Laura McGrady, is cleverly structured to combine crude British humour with hard-hitting moments that pull at the heartstrings from the very beginning. The writing creates an effortless chemistry between the two sisters, which was excellently executed by the two actresses – one of whom was Laura McGrady herself. The commitment both performers had, emotionally as well as physically (especially during moments of excruciating pain) to their deliveries of the characters was beautiful and heart-breaking to watch. I felt completely captivated by their performances and was hanging on every word they said.
The overall direction of the piece was wonderful, and very fitting to the intimate nature of the King’s Head Theatre, which meant that the audience completely surrounded the two actresses for the entirety of the performance. Despite both sisters, directly addressing the audience throughout the show, you are never made to feel uncomfortable by the actors, and remain a spectator to the story throughout, regardless of the fact that they are performing so closely in front of you, which allows you to really engross yourself in the story being told without feeling out of place at all.
The only area which slightly let down the performance was the lack of set design, which was most likely more due to the productions location rather than a specific artistic choice. However, it sometimes meant that the audience had to deduce, based on props, costumes and conversation, where each scene was taking place. This wasn’t a huge issue, as it was combined with a well-written book which made the story’s location fairly easy to follow, however it would have been interesting to see how this production would have been staged in a larger venue or with a bigger budget. However, given the circumstances I believe the show did an incredible job in delivering its message of strength and love to the audience.
I would highly recommend this production, especially to young women facing the inevitable progression into adulthood. I was very emotionally affected by the show and as a young woman myself, found a lot of the topics were quite relatable for myself as well as every other young woman I know. If you can catch the show during it’s limited run – I would recommend that you definitely do – it’s an experience that won’t be forgotten easily!
By Emily Schofield
Baby Box continues to play at the King’s Head Theatre until the 6th May. For more information visit: http://www.kingsheadtheatre.com/