The Dirty Mother is an autobiographical, post-natal descent story that follows one woman through pregnancy, childbirth and into the confounding world of motherhood(s). The Dirty Mother recalls and performs her story of childbirth as a hysterical, heroic feat of survival and female power.
The Dirty Mother is a woman whose confidence is undercut and numinous self-broken away by maternal-phobic doctors, a baby born not breathing, an absent partner, hostile-in-laws and the power devoid of ‘care’ in a state-run hospital. SHE is storyteller as ‘sleuth’ navigating a post-natal Underworld, embarking on the mystery of where herSELF has gone and how she will recover it.
The Dirty Mother is a multi-disciplinary performance, using choreography, voice-recorded story, projection and live music. Photos of her pregnancy and birth superimpose the woman’s body as she tells her story through a Cindy Sherman-esque assemblage of images and memory. Through the comic poetry of clown and filmic tropes of the Monstrous Feminine, she elucidates the graphic detail of a woman in labour and the isolation of motherhood. An omnipotent Maestra plays their guitar, driving the woman onward through the Underworld in a sound-body exchange of emotion.
The Dirty Mother is a high energy celebration, a communion with the audience in a 21stcentury D-I-Y Birth Rite. With guffawing graphic humour, intergalactic karaoke and live music, The Dirty Mother is a one-woman taboo buster, a totally true telling of childbirth LIVE on stage; a story of friendship and reinvention in the nappy shite of life.
“It’s got everything, agony and ecstasy, anger and comedy, the promise of life and the danger of death.” – SeeSaw Magazine, 2019.