With a suitably detached and ambiguous performance from Donna and with just enough of the unhinged about her to question the reality, and coupled with her overbearing mother who manages to turn the loss of Donna’s children into a successful relaunching of her political career, we are taken on a rollercoaster of ‘did she – didn’t she’ emotions. In particular Dr Millard’s questionable theory that mothers who murder their babies do it for love – to protect them from the evils of this world – and the way he admits to getting scores of women acquitted for torturing and murdering their children using the L-K Syndrome as their defence, causes the audience great discomfort. Certainly there are cases where mothers have been mistakenly convicted and later cleared of murdering their children, but to give them all an excuse? And the final twist – that Donna is pregnant again – leaves a very unpleasant taste in the mouth and a real sense of foreboding.
Other issues addressed are political – an amusing scene where a Conservative Councillor tries to get Donna’s mother to switch allegiances, addressing the vulture-culture of the modern media in using someone’s tragedy as entertainment. I do believe Cheryl Cole used the same example to describe the downfall of her marriage, although this story is a lot darker, traumatic and without any clean answers or endings.
On a practical note, the BT seating was transformed into lining either side of the stage for this play which was a breath of fresh air as everyone got a good view and it felt as if the audience were even closer than usual to the story – in fact one of the characters actually sits in the audience unnoticed until their time to speak. I won’t give you too much information on how much the plot unfolds as you really must see it for yourself – but this is fast paced, moving, uncomfortable to watch, and, as my guest said, possibly the best play he had ever seen.