“A movement of mothers, moms and mamas spreading the message that you don’t have to be perfect, and sometimes being good enough is best”, The Good Enough Mums Club are a collective of mothers within the arts creating a safe space for shared experiences of motherhood to be explored, with the hopes of inspiring and uplifting others. Currently using this time to further develop their musical of the same name, the addition of The Good Enough Mums Club Podcast aims to offer an extension of the efforts of the collective and musical, and will also showcase new music from the show. The show’s creator Emily Beecher tells us more about the podcast and the empowering team of mothers behind it!
Hi Emily, you’re currently undergoing R&D for your show The Good Enough Mums Club. What were responses towards the show? How have you used responses and any reflections to develop the musical further?
Hi there! We did a period of R&D last year to develop the script. It went through some narrative changes but mostly I wanted to ensure diversity of class, race and sexuality were embedded in the text. We’ve always had some diversity in the cast by design but I really believe as writers we have a responsibility to make sure it’s on the page in a way it can’t be erased or ignored. Part of that development was our workshops where Hannah Chissick (our director), Jade Samuels and I were super fortunate to have been able to go out and meet loads of mums in Birmingham and London and hear their stories. Mums’ stories are always at the heart of what we do at GEMC.
Of course once we made those changes to the script it was obvious that some songs needed to move, some just didn’t work anymore and some characters needed brand new songs so this R&D has been all about developing the music. We’ve written three brand new tracks, and have another on the way. The whole thing’s being arranged by Verity Quade and we’ve just brought Tony Award winning Orchestrator Sarah Travis on board as well so we’re going to have the most amazing cohesive sound.
Sadly because of lockdown we haven’t been able to share the work with anyone. I haven’t even heard the cast sing the songs together yet because you can’t really sing together over Zoom so I’m really thrilled that we’re going to be able to get in a room together in a couple weeks and we’ll actually be able to hear it all.
Whilst developing the show, the team have announced a new podcast series exploring motherhood. What inspired the addition of the podcast?
It’s funny the things that have happened because of lockdown but really the podcast has come about because we couldn’t do our workshops. Last year we went and talked to generations of women in a mosque in Birmingham, met mums of families who live in the shadow of Grenfell, met mums who are using the early years childcare in poorer areas, and the sessions are so amazing I always come away wishing I could share those conversations with more people. This is a way for us to bring the conversations we have with mums to a wider audience.
The podcast will offer an extension to the musical and place stories of other mums at the forefront. How beneficial has this been for the team to speak about their own stories?
I think people always say ‘Oh a project with almost all mums, that’s interesting…’ but then when you’re part of this amazing team of women – who understand an experience you share, that totally get some of the things that are difficult, or that are amazing – everyone feels so connected and empowered to share their stories and their truths.
The show came about because when I had postnatal depression and postnatal psychosis, I was so relieved there was actually something wrong with me that I told everyone. What I found was that, all of a sudden, women started confessing and sharing things with me that they hadn’t maybe shared with anyone else. I became this collector of stories and I realised there’s actually a lot of strength and care in sharing your story. When you’re honest about your experiences, you actually find out you’re not as alone as you thought you were.
The show was conceived, produced, directed, arranged and performed by a team of mothers. How have you personally found being a part of this supportive network?
Our team absolutely rock! They are some of the most kickass women I have ever met. They make me laugh, can move me to tears and they make me a better person and a better mum every day. Honestly it’s an honour to get to create with them and I find it the most incredible, empowering experience.
Is the podcast an element of The Good Enough Mums Club that you will continue post lockdown? If so, what are your hopes for it in the future?
Absolutely, we want to continue it. We want to share as many mums’ stories as we can and as many different experiences as we can. If any of your readers have a story they’d like to share or know of a mum they’d like to hear from, please do get in touch.
What can listeners expect from the podcast?
Well definitely some honesty and hopefully some laughs too. We are discussing a lot in this first season – postnatal psychosis, racism, body image, disability, baby loss, pregnancy, just to touch on a few of the topics – but there hasn’t been an episode yet that we haven’t also had a laugh. Hopefully, the podcast captures the varied nature of motherhood.
What would you like for listeners to take away from the podcast?
That you are not alone, regardless of what you’re going through. All of the stories we’re sharing, all the women we’re speaking to are different but I think everyone will find something that they can relate to and appreciate in each and every one. Motherhood can be really lonely and isolating and I really want mums to feel more connected, and I guess, part of the club!
Questions by Lucy Basaba.
To find out more about The Good Enough Mums Club Podcast, visit here…
To find out more about The Good Enough Mums Club Musical, visit here…
If you’re a mum who would like to get in contact with a story or have a suggestion of a mother you’d like to hear from, contact the team here…