Hear Me Howl
Writer Lydia Rynne’s late coming-of-age tale is rooted in the rage that spreads as one woman confronts her own challenging predicament.
Jess is nearly 30, works in an office and has just found out she is pregnant. Though in a steady relationship with her boyfriend Taj, the mother-to-be is incredibly hesitant about starting a family, doubting her parenting skills as well as worrying about a plethora of other matters that emerge in rushed neurotic monologues. Playing the drums in a fast rhythm, Jess tells the audience to hold their breath while speaking hurriedly through her anxious thought processes. The piece touches on the rare but plausible occurrence of a woman becoming pregnant even after using protection and despite sharing only sporadic moments of intimacy with her sexual partners. The playwright explores this topic through a wordy script while questioning if females are only considered human beings after deciding to have a baby, and exploring how “from a young age we are taught to keep the human race going”.
Many people can relate to Hear Me Howl: though the play reads like a contemporary “chick lit” novel, that’s exactly what makes it so accessible to the modern woman. However, Rynne’s attempt at combining post-punk with a pregnancy scare is a little lacklustre; the drums are unused for the majority of the piece until Jess plays a hammering solo right at the end, a little too late, after arbitrarily joining a band. Although Alice Pitt-Carter gives an excellent performance as the worried expectant mother, there’s nothing illuminating here. Jess reiterates how fortunate she feels to be a woman with sexual freedom, but when she starts to question her sexuality, it feels like an arbitrary effort to thicken the plot of a quite generic pregnancy story.
Photo: Will Lepper
Hear Me Howl is at the Cavern from 30th January until 3rd February 2019. For further information or to book visit the show’s festival page here.
Read more reviews and interviews from our Vault Festival 2019 coverage here.
For further information about the event visit the Vault Festival website here.