Breakfast Plays: B!rth, Traverse Theatre, Review

Submitted by Erin Roche on Sun, 20 Aug '17 6.29pm
Rating (out of 5)
Show info
Traverse Theatre Company and Royal Exchange Theatre
Running time

Who gets to decide who lives and dies? “Nameless, faceless “gods” around a conference table?” asks Breakfast Plays: B!rth.

Director Emma Callander, a Traverse Theatre Associate Artist, has created the Birth Project, a conversation, a debate, a theatrical merging of art and science that aims to bring about radical change on global birth inequality using the empathy that only the stage can create.

While 09:00 is an early call for a play, this is well worth arriving at the Trav early to have a sausage roll, a coffee, and a seat at an important staged reading. This morning’s play entitled Ouroboros hails from India, penned by Swati Simha. Four women perform a staged reading about women who when faced with the “choice” of mass sterilization debate questions of control, morality, inequality, and autonomy.

This piece was beautifully and thoughtfully written, and it’s incredible to imagine what taking empathy-sparking works like these to policymakers and centres for change might do for birth inequality worldwide. While being impactful, this piece doesn’t offer any definitive solutions, but rather sparks for questions, leaving you wondering who, if anyone, can fully take the blame?

The B!rth Project features plays from four countries, performing a different piece during each of their morning performances. Along with Ouroboros from India is Q & Q from Syria, Choices from the U.K., and So Far as a Century’s Reach from the USA.

“Everyday, around 800 women die during or after pregnancy and childbirth and for every woman who dies, around 30 more women suffer complications that affect their well-being. These women cannot remain statistics. Their voices must be heard.”
-Professor Nynke van de Broek, Centre for Maternal and Newborn Health, LSTM

Aug 22-27


OUROBOROS by Swati Simha (India)
25 Aug

Q&Q by Liwaa Yazji (Syria)
22 & 26 Aug

CHOICES by Stacey Gregg (UK)
24 Aug

SO FAR AS A CENTURY’S REACH by Kirsten Greenidge (USA)
23 & 27 Aug

£15.50 (ticket includes breakfast roll and tea / coffee)