Review by Emma Whitelaw
EVER felt like all your problems are the result of someone else’s
lunacy? After all if you can’t blame yourself then who can
you blame? That’s right – you’re parents!
Talented playwright Christopher Durang’s Baby with the Bathwater, now playing at The Old Red Lion Theatre is a hilariously satiric look at when parenthood goes wrong.
To say that Helen and John Dingleberry are inexperienced in the realm of parenting would be an understatement. When the child cries they’ve absolutely no idea what to do and they’re too polite to even check the sex of their new born child!
John, Claude Starling, thinks it’s a boy, but Helen, Nicole Milton, says the doctors said they could decide later. After much deliberation they finally decide on a sex and a name; Daisy.
Enter Nanny, played by the hilarious and incredibly talented Anne Bird. A cross between Mary Poppins and Cruella Deville, Nanny coos at the child only to then scream at the top of her voice causing the young Daisy to faint.
The gifted Tom Bacon plays Daisy. He is an extraordinary creation, the bisexual byproduct of having lived the best part of his childhood as a girl, only to discover years later while reading a school book that he is actually more like a boy.
The play follows the path of Daisy’s long, confused and unhappy life. Daisy meets some very strange characters along the way, each even more insane then the last, until he finally comes across his wife to be Susan, played by the lovely Charity Wakefield.
Susan has fallen pregnant and Daisy decides to do the right thing and marry her. This is an extraordinary move by one who blames his every idiosyncrasy on his own parents. Perhaps in his newborn child he finds hope, he can take his own experience and work on being a better parent for his own child.
The entire cast was fabulous! Only I must admit Anne Bird stole the show. Her characterizations brought the house down. She is an amazing comic and her rendition of the nutty principal was simply superb! She had the audience in stitches; there wasn’t a dry eye in the house!
Baby with the Bathwater is a breath of fresh air; it is full of light-hearted laughs and cheeky social commentary.
I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who has ever had parents!
Baby with the Bathwater written by Christopher Durang. Directed & Produced by Jonathon Loe. Starring Tom Bacon, Anne Bird, Nicole Milton, Claude Starling and Charity Wakefield. At the Old Red Lion Theatre, 418 St John Street, London EC1. Box Office 020 7837 7816