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after birth

Way back in February 2020 I pitched Maiden Moor’s new play after birth at OTM’s Emanate event.  Then in March the North Wall Arts Centre and OTM announced that the play had been chosen for their 2020 Propeller award.   With two weeks residency and three performances planned at the North Wall we were all set to start making the show.  Then lockdown happened.   Last week, a year later than planned, after birth finally premiered.  It was so amazing to be back in rehearsals again, and audiences were obviously ready to come back to the theatre.  Two out of our three performances sold out.  There was such a buzz outside the North Wall at the end of the shows with people so happy to be out and about again, meeting friends and talking theatre.

after birth, is a life-affirming recovery story rooted in real life testimonies of women who experienced psychosis after the birth of their babies.  This first review will tell you a little more https://www.dailyinfo.co.uk/feature/16777/after-birth#review69521

I wrote the show and the wonderful Emma Dolman produced it.  Around us were an incredible team of actors and creatives, many of whom had also received support from the North Wall earlier in their careers: Grace Duggan (director), Samantha Robinson (actor), Alice Vilanculo (actor), Simon Darwen (actor), Sascha Gilmour (set and costume design), Will Alder (sound design), Harris Grant-Forster (composer).  We were brilliantly supported by Niamh Percy (stage manager), Polly Jerold (casting), Denise Rawls (comms), Roel Fox (voice coaching), Geraint Lewis (stills photography), Molly Dunne (graphic design).  The fantastic Jo Elliott is currently editing the filmed performance – watch this space.  Maiden Moor was also truly blessed with generous and supportive partners who have been with us every step of the way – national charity Action Postpartum Psychosis, and Oxford University’s TORCH and National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit.  Over the last month, for the first time in over a year, this team got together in real life and remembered how good it is to be in the same room as other theatre makers.

Article by Zena Forster (OTM member and writer of after birth)

Back on stage.  Back left to right: Alice Vilanculo, Niamh Percy, Simon Darwen, Samantha Robinson, Sascha Gilmour, Zena Forster.  Front left to right: Will Alder, Grace Duggan, Jo Elliott.