Theatre review: Where’s Your Mama Gone? at the Hen and Chickens
- Credit: Archant
This affecting play shines a light on the children of murder victims, says Aline Waites.
Brian Daniels was responsible for running New End Theatre for fourteen years. Now he s back In London with his play Where’s your mama gone
Living in Leeds, Brian became fascinated by the story of The Yorkshire Ripper after seeing a documentary about murder victims and what happens to the children after they lose their mother.
Daniels was obviously very moved by the plight of one of these children and has written with a thoughtful and sympathetic voice. In his play he has made two of the children twins Carol and Steven which adds a special dimension to the story. The twins resolutely stick together and manage to stay in touch. They are sent to a childrens’ home and after years in a prison like atmosphere they are released and left to get on by themselves. The play is what happens to them and how they manage to cope with the past tragedy in their lives.
A young woman from the BBC played by Kluane Saunders approaches them and asks them to take part in a documentary. This character gives the author the reason for investigating their story.
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Bernie B Byrnes, the director has chosen an exceptional cast to play the roles. George Haynes plays Steven and Marie Fortune plays Carol, The rest of the characters - the murdered mother, the drunken father, the serial killer and his ferocious wife etc. are all played by Kluane Saunders and Noah Young.
Scenes that really bring the subject home are the ones where Steven visits his mother’s murderer in prison, and when he conjures up the spirit of his dead mother. Carol marries a man who resembles her drunken father.
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The play is in short scenes interspersed with movement, beautifully choreographed by Jennie May Dunne and spectacularly performed by the versatile company.
Rating: 4/5 stars
Until May 30