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News Every Day |

The Motherhood Project review – difficult choices, disparate voices

Available online
This set of 15 monologues – from writers including Lemn Sissay, Jodi Gray and Juno Dawson – is heartfelt but feels underpowered

In one of the 15 monologues here, Juno Dawson observes that motherhood is still conflated with womanhood. It is a crucial point and this series is both a meditation on what it means to be a modern-day mother as well as a woman without children, and goes some way towards peeling the old conflation apart.

Curated by Katherine Kotz as part of Battersea Arts Centre’s online season Wild Times, its mission is important, wide-ranging and well-represented. Morgan Lloyd Malcolm dramatises a busy mother’s relationship with her body (in a piece performed by Jenni Maitland and directed by Maria Aberg). Lemn Sissay reflects on judgments that adopted children can make of their birth mothers. Siggi Mwasote speaks in calm, clear tones about being a mother in an abusive relationship. Anya Reiss’s A Letter to My Baby features a mother’s eloquent and honest message to her “baby boy”, performed by Tom Rhys Harries. An off-camera mother speaks to her child rousingly as the film pans street scenes of black mothers and children in Irenosen Okojie’s Gunk: “Stop trembling in the corner. The system is fucking rigged.”

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