REVIEW: ★★★ Pramkicker, The Vault Festival

REVIEW: ★★★ Pramkicker, The Vault Festival

VAULT Festival is back! Labelled London’s biggest, boldest and bravest arts and entertainment festival, it hosts eight weeks of theatre, comedy, immersive experiences, cabaret and live performance. Kicking off its seventh year, is the internationally acclaimed Pramkicker.

“Let’s get this over with, shall we. I had a slight situation & now they think I’m mental.” Jude (Sarah Mayhew) has never wanted kids. Younger sister Susie (Sadie Hasler), is unsure but is aware of the ‘ticking clock.’ When Jude kicks a mother’s pram out of a café, the term ‘pramkicker’ is born, and acts as a catalyst for the various dilemmas faced by modern women today.

Old Trunk Theatre is feminist at its core. Exploring the role of women in society; namely that of being a wife and a mother, Hasler (Playwright/Actor) & Mayhew (Director/Actor) seek to challenge the idea of motherhood as the default setting of a woman and pose the question; what is so horrifying about the childless childfree female?

Anyone who is a regular frequenter of The Vaults knows the pros and cons of this quirky Waterloo venue….

Pros: IT’S UNDERGROUND. A modern yet historic space, complementing Pramkicker’s contemporary take on traditional societal values.

Cons: IT’S UNDERGROUND. A constant rumble of trains overhead means dialogue is often frustratingly and painstakingly hard to hear.

The reason why Jude kicked the pram is explained towards the start of the show; a discovery that feels premature and anticlimactic, and the use of the audience as members of the anger management class, although an interesting concept, is underutilised and does little to aid the narrative.

What Pramkicker does well however, is show that true love is not limited to motherhood, but can also be put out into the world, oneself or each other. It gives a platform to a plethora of important topics that still need voice today, including fertility, abortion, relationships, rape and drug use. Hasler and Mayhew have perfect chemistry. Bringing out all the dark humour and pathos of Hasler’s ribald script, they keep the audience enthralled even with a basic set and simple staging.

For too long motherhood has been used as a spectrum to measure the worth of women. Finally with Pramkicker we have a celebration of women who are finally taking charge of their bodies and not being told what to do!

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