Whoa Mama! @ The Spiegeltent (Brighton Fringe Festival 2024) Review

What motherhood looks like to all women differs, how this facet of humanity has been viewed upon throughout time, transforming with the times, the choice to become one the most important decision that a woman can make within her lifetime and therefore not taken lightly. There can often times feel like there’s a societal pressure to become a mother, throughout time women scolded for not becoming one – ignorant of the circumstances that influence that particular life decision decision – flippant comments not thought about having huge implications. A brave exploration of this, theatre maker Stephanie Ware doesn’t at all take herself seriously in Whoa Mama!, a humorous observation of self – femininity, motherhood and singledom through the gaze of a versatile, highly sought after acting career.

Imperative that the audience join in with Ware’s comical observations, Whoa Mama!, although zoning in on Ware’s story stresses a point of taking a look within ourselves to purely ask what makes us happy – whether that be starting our own families or making the choice not to.

Ware sensitively explores a topic personal to many women out there – her openness a vehicle honestly unpicking the unsaid, and in not such a conventional way either. Ware instead makes the experience a colourful one, one shaped through the prisms of various genres – Ancient Greek drama/Period Drama/Vagina Monologues/Drag Kinging/Court Room Drama – a great way of having a laugh in regards to showing ‘range’, Ware herself ‘in on the joke’ of being awarded with an array of Academy Award style accolades post every iteration of a character explored – there’s an indirectness to the evening making it easy to follow along.

Ware cleverly goes through time periods to explore tropes of femininity, and within this examine her own current situation – which makes for a playful convention of the show. Ware’s warm presence making the evening an entertaining one, creating a safe, non-confrontational space to explore what’s important. The evening’s comic timing priceless, Ware masterfully improvising with the unpredictable nature of the elements as rainfall crashes onto the Bosco Theatre tent, an addition that works wonders with her last character – Gaia – Mother Nature.

We’re given perspective which expands thought, with there being a celebration of choice, and doing what makes you feel happy – which is important. A morale boosting show!

Review written by Lucy Basaba.

Whoa Mama! was shown on the 7th, 21st and 28th May 2024 at The Spiegeltent as part of this year’s Brighton Fringe Festival. To find out more about the production, visit here…

Written by Theatrefullstop