Reviewed at the Bakehouse on 4 March 2019
Presented by Scrambled Prince Theatre Company
The stories that surround the Mother and Baby Homes in Ireland are unfortunately not unfamiliar. Some of the stories of the mal-treated women were put together in a theatre piece with music composition by the youth theatre company Scrambled Prince Theatre Company in their show All the Lovely Magdalenes.
Hailing from Victoria, this all female, all youth cast has put together a self-devised piece which tells some of the stories that were all too common that came out of those horrid places. A profoundly moving piece, the mixture of haunting a Capella music and straight acting, the cast establish a sombre environment, unapologetically and bluntly discussing the seriousness of the subject matter.
The show predominantly follows the introduction of a new member to the house and the clear dehumanisation methods used to punish the women who found themselves there. On entry our protagonist has her name forcibly changed, her rights over her own child removed from her and set to work on menial labour tasks. The brutalisation and violence disseminated out to the interred members of the house isn’t even displayed through physical violence alone but instead purely through the medium of words alone. A truly horrid thing when such mean spirited behaviour is being displayed by a nun. The fact the cast is able to display with such clarity the awful nature of those environments is a testament to the ensemble’s acting and singing skills. The young performers cut no corner in their portrayal of the mothers, now destitute and with mounting psychological problems, highlighting the heartbreaking difficulties the young women would have had between their passion for their faith and the treatment of them by the church.
Not easily recommended for those who are sensitive to the trauma related themes of the Mother and Baby Homes, but for those willing to push past that it is a worthwhile piece to go see.
Reviewed by Simon Lancione
Venue: Mainstage at Bakehouse Theatre
Season: 6-9th March 2019
Duration: 50 mins
Tickets: FP $20, Con $16, Family $40, Bank SA $15.75, Yep $10, Pass Holder Free