Pleasance Courtyard (Beyond), Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
A poignant piece of visual theatre with incredible live music, BIRTH comes to Pleasance following a sell-out run at London International Mime Festival 2019. This follows Theatre Re’s hugely successful The Nature of Forgetting which, following its Edinburgh run as part of the British Council Showcase, has toured the world including sell outs in London, New York, Hong Kong, South Korea and South America.
Sharing the beauty and impact of Theatre Re’s earlier work, Birth uses their compelling, physical style embracing mime, theatre and live music to explore the taboo topic of pregnancy loss and the fragility of life. This powerful show also brings to life family connections and what is passed down over generations.
In the UK, it is estimated that 1 in 4 pregnancies end in loss during pregnancy or birth. BIRTH explores the bond between three women, their shared loss, their unconditional love and the strength they discover in each other.
Emily is eight months pregnant when she reads her grandmother's journal. As she delves into the depths of her family history, its pages unveil a legacy of unspoken tragedies, courage and unconditional love. BIRTH is the story of, three generations of women from the same family who are part of an invisible web, weaved across the years. It traces their journey of self-discovery, acceptance and hope.
Over a 15-month development period, Theatre Re have collaborated with UCL Neuroscience Professor Kate Jeffery, as well as with Dr Graeme Forbes, lecturer in philosophy at the University of Kent, to explore the question, ‘When does memory begin?’ They have also conducted interviews and workshops with women and families who have experienced such loss, developing the work with strong links between science, philosophy, theatre and the real human experience.
Company director Guillaume Pige comments, Pregnancy loss is experienced by a great number of women. What the parents go through is rarely discussed and often considered taboo. It is part of the realm of the 'unspoken', or the 'unvoiced'. It is buried. Throughout the development process, we explored the idea of secrets in families, unearthing the parallels between our own lives and the lives of our parents and grandparents.
Established in 2009, Theatre Re is an internationally acclaimed ensemble creating thought-provoking performances. Intimate collaborations with experts in different fields – such as science, philosophy and public health - and various community groups throughout the devising process play a crucial part in the development of the work. Previous productions have toured to sell-out audiences in the UK, Brazil, Peru, South Korea, Germany, Hong Kong, France, Taiwan, Switzerland and the USA.