Mama Love @ Summerhall- Red Lecture Theatre (Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2022) Review

Taking on the role of a mother is a life changing one, one that shifts focus from yourself to the new born you’re now responsible for for the next 18 years or so. What motherhood looks like to those experiencing it will be personal to themselves, constructs of how the idealised mother should act and look like perhaps not identical to real life experiences. Inspired by a vote held in 2020 in Switzerland granting fathers paternity leave for 2 weeks, writer and performer Lea Blair-Witcher explores the absurdities and toxic images of motherhood that she finds herself enmeshed in in one woman show, Mama Love.

Dressed in a pink, glitzy number, Blair-Witcher establishes Mama Love as a fun, entertaining watch, the show’s conversational tone starting life here as we’re all asked if we identify as mothers, to which members respond. The inclusion of audience interaction adds a necessary layer to the political piece as this dynamic will differ dependent on who’s watching and is one that in this case unlocks how the patriarchy has already influenced the responses given to said question and the female rivalry that ends up as a bi-product of this.

Blair-Witcher delving further into the constructs of motherhood and womanhood with a very honest depiction of childbirth, anecdotal segments where she speaks of her experiences of childbirth and bringing up her now two year old son, playful segments including a zombified walk down a hospital corridor as she now dress in pyjamas, and a mini spa break that serves as rest time – involving two audience members making her a smoothie and prepping her a ‘Wonder Woman’ face mask, but comically ending up micro-managing this and in doing so, making a commentary on how a woman’s worth is tied to all of the running around others.

Mama Love celebrates what it is to be a mother and the physical and mental strength of the human body, it offers a safe space to explore women’s health and with it is fearless and unapologetic in talking about issues that perhaps otherwise wouldn’t be discussed. Blair-Witcher is unfiltered and brazen, she’s warm and welcoming, and very cleverly discusses the moving towards a more nurturing world in comparison to a competitive one – taking the core of motherhood and applying it to a more wider purpose.

Written by Lucy Basaba.

Mama Love is currently showing until Tuesday 16th to Sunday 21st/Tuesday 23rd to Sunday 28th August 2022 at Summerhall – Red Lecture Theatre. To find out more about the production, visit here…

Written by Theatrefullstop