It’s been a full 12 weeks of being a mum to baby Noah. I have experienced the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows, my body has been through the mill and has mended itself whilst sustaining another human. It’s magic. But it takes its toll.
I have been asked, what feels like several thousand times, how my mental health is. At first it was tedious, now I get it. The lows are inexplicable. If you know, you know. Pulling yourself back takes all the energy you can muster, there is only so much one person can take of this. I’m lucky, my lows have been few and far between and I’ve got Jack who is insanely supportive. But, now I get it, I get how women are driven mad, especially vulnerable women, undervalued and unsupported women.
This week Jack and I went to see an an Off West End production of “Guilded Butterflies” at The Hope Theatre in Islington. It was poignant and thought provoking, addressing post natal depression in the most extreme situation as a result of the most devastating outcome .
It’s about an extremely unwell and vulnerable woman on death row, living in solitude for 23 hours a day, awaiting her execution and how she finds hope in the darkest situation. Performed by a two woman company, both of whose acting blew me away.
It was transporting. This play is so well thought out, beautifully performed and thoroughly researched. It’s cleverly set in a stark, minimalistic environment that chills you to your core. It sets the imagination on fire. You feel like you’re in that prison cell with them.
Samantha Pain plays three different characters so well you forget she’s the same actress, transitioning seamlessly through her voice and body language. Francesca McCrohens vulnerability spills through in waves, she is intense and engaging. The whole production is subtle and cleverly directed by Kathryn Papworth-Smith, giving the audience enough credit to allow them to use their imaginations, which in my opinion is the most powerful tool an artist can unlock, the whole room is right there with them.
This was incredible. It needs a bigger platform, more recognition and heaps more publicity for the talent that put it together. Women bravely asking the difficult questions about the support and understanding we give women in trouble. How we see and understand these women, and the systems that are in place in 2018. Move over Guilead, when you look at what supposed modern democracies are doing, we’re living the nightmare.
It is asking questions of ourselves and how we see one another in the darkest of situations.
This play is supported by Amnesty International and Reprieve, another nod to its credibility.
I am not in a prison cell in America, but I get it. I get the madness and the lows. Even if it is fleeting. We still don’t talk about it and we still don’t support one another as we should. There is still not enough funding and the infrastructure to support mental illness is laughable, unfortunately all over the world. This kind of voice is so powerful and important in addressing these issues.
Get yourselves to this show and you will be blown away.
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Showing until 24th November.