Sep. 21st 2016

'It's quite a family affair and art is certainly imitating life.'

by Sara Templeman

Day 6 of rehearsals – Kicking & Screaming


We have just begun our second week of rehearsals for Kicking & Screaming.  What is so brilliant about rehearsing this play, which follows the story of two couples and their transition into parenthood, is the presence of real babies in the rehearsal room. 


Both our artistic directors have recently become parents. Nathan's little girl Olwyn is 6 weeks old and was brought in today for the afternoon by Nathan's wife Alexis. Kat's little boy Claude is 9 weeks old and can't be apart from his Mummy yet as he is so little so he's been a constant (and very lovely and very well behaved) presence at rehearsals. It just happens Claude's Daddy Guy is also on hand for baby care in rehearsals as he is directing all the music as well as having composed some of the musical score for the production (Another part of the show that's been so much fun in rehearsal is the live music!)  So it's quite a family affair and art is certainly imitating life.


Further input has come from our very own qualified Doula* and Mummy Laura who plays the narrator character in the play. 

Her unique insight into not only being a Mummy herself but her accounts of witnessing births as a Doula has also added an extra fascinating layer to our research.


We had yet another baby visitor today as 5 month old Iver dropped in with his Mummy Cristina, who is also part of Tangled Feet. So this afternoon we had 3 babies hanging out!

You can read a lot of books and articles and pamphlets about pregnancy, birth and caring for a new-born. This is a great foundation for the character’s stories and experiences and developing scenes. It’s been useful for me during the entire process from making the show last year to revisiting it this year. We have collated all sorts of information relevant to our stories, like information on attachment parenting to birth positions to weaning and how to breastfeed! ‘It’s a lot of information’ is a line from the show as my character Natasha reads a massive encyclopaedic book about pregnancy and birth in one scene. It certainly is!


However it is the magical, wondrous and amazing presence of our Tangled Feet babies as well as the truthful insight from their parents in rehearsals that are helping to enrich our process. It has really been a unique and fulfilling experience as a performer. Observing and hanging out with actual babies has been invaluable in helping us create our characters truth and stories, encountering parenting live in the space and then reenacting it within the life of the play! It has also been inspiring as our two artistic directors, musical director and fellow performer are juggling parenthood of new borns and toddlers whilst rehearsing a play! Kicking & screaming parents, I salute you!


* Just incase you didn’t know:

doula also known as a birth companion and post-birth supporter, is a non medical person who assists a person before, during, and/or after childbirth as well as her spouse and/or family, by providing physical assistance and emotional support 

For full Tour details see /productions/25-kicking-and-screaming 


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