Part of Co:LAB Festival 2018. Created by the Royal Exchange Theatre's Open Exchange.

After Birth

  • By Highlight Collective
  • 20 July 2018 - 22 July 2018
  • The Lounge

AFTER BIRTH is a multi-media installation and performance putting the hidden issue of maternal mental health in public.

"This is not what I’d imagined.

If I was your bathroom you’d have called a plumber by now.

I’m leaking.”

How do mothers voice they're struggling during a time society expects to be the best? 

Come with a babe in arms, alone or within a group to a safe space where the unspoken is expressed visually, musically and through monologues. Engage with the installation on your own terms or attend a performance.

Let's change the language around motherhood to something more honest.

AFTER BIRTH as a performance

Sun 22 Jul, 3pm / 4pm / 5pm, The Lounge. Please see "Event Information" for booking links. 

Three monologues titled LEAK, FEAR and RISK will be performed. 
Written by Nicola Schofield
Directed by Amy Hailwood
Performed by Sara Abanur 

AFTER BIRTH as an installation

Fri 20 - Sun 22 Jul, 10am-10pm (except during main theatre shows and Sun 22 Jul 2pm - 5.30pm), at The Lounge

Wander into the space and explore art works inspired by / from which the monologues are inspired - by visual artist, Naomi Kendrick.
Pop in your ear phones or pick up an MP3 player and engage (as little or as much as you wish) with the three soundscapes composed by musician Jennifer Hardy (with voice over by Sara Abanur).

LEAK Soundscape

Artwork titled "Almost Edible" by Naomi Kendrick
Music by Jennifer Hardy

Snippets from the monologue titled LEAK, written by Nicola Schofield:

"Soft cheeks. The baby smell. Talc.
No one uses talc but it’s what you imagine.
And it’s all true. Soft cheeks. The baby smell.
But so is all this other stuff no one warned me about.
And I wonder would I warn someone? "

FEAR Soundscape

Artwork titled "Brink" by Naomi Kendrick
Music by Jennifer Hardy

Snippets from the monologue titled FEAR, written by Nicola Schofield:

"The terror
Are the endless tasks to keep the dark thoughts at bay?
The terror of what might happen to you.
The physicality of your presence."

"I fear your rejection.
Your rejection of my weakness, I want to be strong for you."

"How do you love without fear?" 

RISK Soundscape

Artwork titled "Untitled 4" by Naomi Kendrick
Music by Jennifer Hardy

Snippets from the monologue titled RISK, written by Nicola Schofield:

"When I was a child I loved hearing about my birth on my birthday.
There was a thunderstorm. Lightening.
And I guess I loved hearing how I was wanted.
I never knew mum only told half the story."

"I feel something rise up in me. Fear. Relief.
This feeling of failure. Of guilt.
The guilt hits me in waves and waves till I’m crashing to the shore."

"I’ve not been well.
I know that now.
I know."

The Collaborative Process behind AFTER BIRTH

After Birth is a collaboration between 3 artists from 3 art forms.

The drawings by visual artist Naomi Kendrick, the monologues written by playwright Nicola Schofield, and the soundscapes composed by singer/songwriter Jennifer Hardy will be presented as a scratch performance at Co:LAB Festival 2018 to experiment if this collision of collaboration works.

Set Designer David Haworth has created a beautiful space in which to house them. Amy Hailwood directs and Sara Abanur performs the monolouges on Sunday 22 Jul.

Click here (or visit read more about the collaborative process behind AFTER BIRTH.

Visit the Co:LAB Festival 2018 homepage for more events in the festival.

Co:LAB festival is part of Open Exchange

  • Event Information
  • VENUE: The Lounge


    Friday 20 July, 10am - 10pm

    Saturday 21 July, 10am - 10pm

    Sunday 22 July, 10am - 10pm


    Sunday 22 July, 3.00pm - 3.30pm, 4.00pm - 4.30pm and 5.00pm - 5.30pm 

    TICKETS: All events are pay what you decide.

    We have introduced a Pay What You Decide pricing policy for Co:LAB shows. The scheme works by enabling audiences to attend shows without paying for a ticket beforehand, but tickets can be reserved prior to a performance. Then on exiting the show, you have the opportunity to make a donation of what you decide you want to, or can afford to pay, based on your overall enjoyment of the performance.

    At the end of the performance, you can text, for example, ‘CLAB18 £5’ to 70070. You can choose from £3/£5/£10/£15/£20

    BOOK NOW: Online or via the Box Office on 0161 833 9833

  • Creative Team
  • WRITER Nicola Schofield

    VISUAL ARTIST Naomi Kendrick

    MUSICIAN Jennifer Hardy

    DIRECTOR Amy Hailwood

    SET DESIGNER David Haworth

    PERFORMER Sara Abanur

    SOUND EDITING Karen Lauke

    STAGE MANAGEMENT Maryam (Mims) Al-Jeddal

    PRODUCER Grace Ng-Ralph

  • Related Events
  • See the full Co:LAB Festival 2018 Line-up here

  • Accessible Performances

    1 PAGE EASY READ SYNOPSIS: click here to download 


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