Baby at Hope & Anchor
Who has the right over a woman’s body, and her life? It is a question that has been asked many times before, especially when a child is involved. Baby, written by Effie Samara, Paul Derby competition short-listed playwright, asks that same question in a fresh and invigorating way.
Dr Antonia Innes-Kerr is a world-famous pioneering surgeon, married for years to timid gentleman-farmer James. But as Antonia slowly begins to realise her desire for a child, she receives the devastating news that James is infertile. British law dictating that a woman may not avail of donor sperm without her husband’s consent, Antonia must take a hard look at her options. Colleague Dr Patrick O’Shea, a renowned fertility expert, is her best hope for motherhood, but faced with the prospect of testifying against him in the case of a death of a pregnant woman, Antonia must decide whether to compromise her morals or the law.
Baby is intense and swiftly paced, but never breathless. Making effective use of the limited space of the 50-seat theatre, the production values are of high standard, with the close setting adding an intimate frisson to the proceedings.
The performances are a pleasure, with Cate Cammack perfectly embodying the alternately imperious, proud and despairing Antonia using the just the right amount of confidence and vulnerability. Alice Haig’s transition between antithetical characters is flawless, and her bitter, acerbic mother is a delight, if a monstrous one.
The play challenges notions of female self-determination in 21st century Britain, and holds up a mirror to women’s often conflicting attitudes to their own sex. Thought provoking and entertaining, Kite High Theatre have produced a slick little gem, polished to a sparkling sheen.
Baby is on at the Hope & Anchor from 17th April until 2nd May, for further information or to book visit here.
Watch the trailer for Baby here: