A taboo subject in the Sixties, the plight of unmarried mothers, is explored in an enlightening production due to open at Westacre Theatre on Thursday.
Amanda Whittington’s debut play ‘Be My Baby’ takes to the stage for a six-night run split over two weekends.
At the top of the pops in 1964 with ‘Be My Baby’, much adored girl group the Ronettes represented the supposed new freedom of the Swinging 60s with their Phil Spector ‘Wall of Sound’ hit.
Music of that era is an integral and effective soundtrack throughout Westacre Theatre’s new production of Whittington’s play, which premiered in 1998.
Herself only born in 1968, Whittington painstakingly researched a subject that was largely taboo in the 1960s.
For the first time in three decades, a whole generation of forgotten unmarried mothers, whose lives were blighted by religious mother and baby homes, were at last given their own voice.
When 19 year-old bank cashier Mary Adams finds herself seven months pregnant, she is sent away to a secret home by her middle-class mother intent on keeping-up appearances.
And so Mary becomes separated from her family just when she most needs their support.
Learning to cope with the shame inflicted by society, Mary befriends the other single pregnant girls and who, through their cheerfulness, sing and dance along, give hope to their youthful fantasies of romance and aspirations of marriage.
In two short months, Mary develops from being submissive daughter into a confident young woman.
While finding comfort in each other’s comradeship, the girls must still face their individual misfortunes alone.
Totally non-judgemental, the play throws new light on the girls’ poignant journeys in a warm and humorous way which reflects the stigma that is in complete contrast to the new-found liberties expressed by the pop music.
As normal teenagers, Mary and her friends were the victims who ‘got into trouble’ and ended-up keeping a dark secret about what happened to them and their babies.
There are six performances – all at 7:30pm – on Thursday, Friday August 11, Saturday August 12 , Thursday August 17, Friday August 18, and Saturday, August 19.
Tickets are available online at www.westacretheatre.com or from 01760 755800.