Camden Fringe 2018: With Child
“Do you want to have children when you grow up? Are you breastfeeding? Are they eating plenty of vegetables?” These are some of the questions in a string that resound through the theatre before writer and actress Claire Rebekah Pointing appears on stage for her one-woman show, With Child, at Camden People’s Theatre.
The monologues that ensue make up a six-woman ensemble of characters, all realistically depicted by Pointing. The actress’s own baby bump pushes the notion forward: are all these female characters expectant mothers? The solo performer demonstrates excellent vocal range, switching from a colloquial British accent to received pronunciation when portraying the posh Cynthia Bentley, and even doing a perfect imitation of Hyacinth Bucket from British comedy series Keeping Up Appearances. It is these strengths as well as her fresh script – reminiscent of Ken Loach’s social dramas – that renders Pointing a tour-de-force in the play. Each of the characters is uniquely outlined within the “talking heads” style narrative – both relatable and obnoxious at times.
Though the leading lady focuses her monologues predominantly on female experiences, men can appreciate the show too, as she speaks with a frankness that is funny and true of both genders. Performing at intervals with her mouth full of various snack foods, the actress is a natural on stage; at one particular moment, she gets the audience to sing Que Cera Cera, which is uplifting and moving. Pointing does not let her pregnancy hinder her acting but shines in the role, her gestures and movements defining each character, whether dancing to club songs while stroking her baby bump, or lifting weights.
Pregnant actresses are rarely seen on stage, which is one of the reasons this production is such a refreshing addition to the Camden Fringe line-up, alongside Pointing’s excellent acting.
Camden Fringe 2018: With Child is at from 20th August until 21st August 2018. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.