Last production of the Pop-Up season opens this week at Leeds Playhouse
Leeds Playhouse began its extensive redevelopment over a year ago and when the time came to close its auditoria it took the decision to open a pop-up theatre to maintain production, creativity and audiences.
After a successful ten-month season utilising an ensemble company the theatre is now preparing to host its last production; Amanda Whittington’s Be My Baby opens this Saturday 11 May and runs until Saturday 1 June.
“Since September 2018 our Pop-Up theatre has staged 12 productions, welcoming over 50,000 people to the space. We have also toured a handful of projects to spaces around West Yorkshire through the year.” said Artistic Director James Brining.
“Temporarily closing a venue, regardless of its profile and successes, is a tricky business but I really believe we have pulled it off and I thank the whole Playhouse team for their continued hard work as well as our audiences, who have taken to the Pop Up space with enthusiasm and a spirit of adventure. Be My Baby is a great production to conclude the Pop Up season; a story of women and friendship, of togetherness and support, a story of fight and independence that resonates still. I look forward to welcoming audiences to this special place for the last time before it reverts to our set building workshop and beyond that, to the exciting transition back into the brilliantly refurbished Playhouse.”
Set in a maternity home for young, unmarried women who have ‘made one mistake’, Jacqui Honess-Martin directs this moving story with warmth and humour.
19-year old Mary is seven months pregnant when her mother delivers her into the charge of St Saviours. As Mary, Dolores, Queenie and Norma bond over records and romance, they begin to understand what it means to give their children to the Welfare Service and Mary realises she must fight to take her baby home.
Whilst there are nods to the 1960s by use of key props and snippets of song, Jacqui and the creative team have shaped a piece that comes without an era thus opting for a contemporary and resonant approach. The set is stark, the costumes unspecific in fashion, and the piece is fully captioned at every performance.
The female Ensemble Company is Tessa Parr fresh from her role in the critically acclaimed Hamlet, she is joined by Anna Gray as Norma Jo Mousley as Mrs Adams, Crystal Condie as Queenie, Simona Bitmate as Mary and Susan Twist as Matron.
Be My Baby plays in Leeds Playhouse’s Pop-Up theatre, in association with SOYO Leeds, from 11 May – 1 June.Click here to book tickets for Be My Baby