Motherlogues: curtain call for the women of Sheffield

In time for International Women’s Day and Mother’s Day, a new show inspired by the women of Sheffield, Motherlogues will debut at Theatre Deli this weekend.

Writer, Lauren Reed, was inspired by conversations she’d had with friends and family about motherhood and how different each of their stories were. Ms Reed felt there was no platform for mothers to openly share their experiences.

Bringing together women from a variety of backgrounds, she hopes her production will start a dialogue on all aspects of motherhood, covering everything from IVF journeys and surrogacy to post-natal depression.

Ms Reed said: “This thing that happens everyday, that is the most natural thing in the world is never celebrated or spoken about, and certainly not in depth. We want to look at the raw truth of what happens to women. It’s just expected to happen quietly in the background”

In early February, Forked Theatre held two open ‘mother’s meeting’ at the Crucible, encouraging women from across Sheffield to share their stories of motherhood.

Ms Reed said: as “The forum is a therapy circle of sorts, a discussion, a secure and friendly, but above all safe space to vocalise thoughts, share experiences and be part of a larger conversation.

“This time, it was important for me have it local, and get stories from Sheffield. I also went to a brilliant charity called Key Changes, a women’s centre for ex-offenders. It was really great to hear a completely new angle that we’d never really explored before, from those who had spent time inside, separated from their child.”

“It resonates so much clearer and louder because the women are local. These could be stories from your next door neighbour, from the person sitting next you in the audience, it could be anyone and I hope that’s something the audience will find quite exciting.”

Ms Reed cited the recent “wave of feminism” in the wake of #MeToo as instrumental to the importance of telling these stories now.

“Women everywhere need a safe space, to share and be heard without any judgement. There is a lot of stuff that happens to women everyday, not just in terms of motherhood, and they are expected to just get on with it. It goes largely unnoticed and not enough credit is given where it’s due.”

Motherlogues will be held as part of SheFest, a campaign for gender equality.

Ms Reed said: “There’s a slight shift now where we’ve just started to shout a little bit louder, and we’re starting to be heard. As a society, we’re getting better a taking a step back and saying: okay, this needs to happen, this needs to be heard, this needs to be said.”

“For the audience, there will be stories that they hear that they’ve never even thought of before. There will be accounts where it really makes them sit and think. I hope they’ll walk away and realise that there are some women in their life who don’t have it easy, and that motherhood is an assumption they make of other people that they really shouldn’t.”

The show will debut at Theatre Deli, Eyre Street, on March 10 and 11, with a ‘babes-in-arms’ matinee for new mums on Mother’s Day.

Tickets are available through EventBrite.