REVIEW: 'Kicking and Screaming' at Northern Stage

One thing I can say for sure about ‘Kicking and Screaming,’ by the theatre company Tangled Feet, is that it will make any Fresher who hasn’t quite adjusted to living away from home yet (myself included) develop a mahoossive appreciation for their parents.

The play nicely highlighted the fact that, often, when someone has a baby, everyones’ focus shifts from them to their baby. It was great seeing a narrative that focused on the parents after childbirth rather than the child; and it showed just how much one tiny screaming pooping human can turn your life on its head.

All the cast portrayed such down to earth and realistic characters. They effectively deconstructed this idea of some sort of “super parent” who knows exactly how to look after their child from the get-go. Each character had their flaws, but that was part of what made the characters so believable. A special shout-out to Hannah Gittos who played Ronnie – her character broke my heart a little bit at the end.

Funily enough, one of my favourite things about the play was the lack of any actual babies. Props to whoever thought to use props as babies (props to the props guy, I guess). They made for a great bit of humour in the play – everything from light-up orbs to a sack of Tesco-value rice was used. I expected to find the props off-putting in some way, but it’s bizarre how quickly you adjust to the idea of someone cooing at a bag of rice.

Baby toys were also used for all the musical elements in the play – I honestly didn’t believe such lovely sounds could come from a Melodica. They we even used as everyday household objects like phones and Xbox controllers, which whilst also being funny felt like a perfect symbol of just how having a baby can affect every corner of someone’s life.

All in all, ‘Kicking and Screaming’ was a funny but honest portrayal of parenting a newborn. But, remember Freshers, watch at your own risk: you will love your parents a tad too much by the end of it.

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