They say a mother’s love is unconditional, but can you truly still love your child after they commit the most heinous of crimes? Put The Book Down’s Mine brings to light the experience of one mother dealing with shame, neglect, and ruin after the horror of her son committing a crime on a night out so unforgivable he has been sent to prison. When we hear of a teenager receiving a prison sentence, blame is often placed at the feet of their parents and they are denied a voice. Maisie Barlow delivers harrowing performance in this one woman show written by Douglas Deans.

A spectacular performance for Maisie Barlow, giving a voice to people who are so often neglected in these cases.

One chair is positioned on the stage, with simple lighting and the power of the text we are guided through agonising events and transported to multiple locations. Maisie Barlow multi-roles as the mother, the police officers, press, a protester hurling abuse, and at one of the most tense moments of the production;the son. Though it is never specified what the crime this son committed is, the delivery of this story is so powerful, so frank and told with complete vulnerability that it is difficult to take your eyes off the performer. Home alone sat anxiously waiting for her teenage son to return from a night out with friends, greeting the sober-faced police at the door, playing both the mother and the police officer through the questioning and interviews at the Police Station. Barlow conjures a genuine emotional response from the audience in her honest portrayal of the harsh and invisible realities of what parents face in these horrific circumstances.

The sharpness and pace at which the narrative moves builds the tension throughout the show, but core plot points are so elusive that it fails to create a lasting impact on an audience. It hits hard, but doesn’t leave a bruise. Even so, this is a spectacular performance for Maisie Barlow, giving a voice to people who are so often neglected in these cases.

Reviews by Isabella Javor

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The Blurb

Put the Book Down return to Fringe with their award-winning, critically acclaimed, intense one-woman play. She loves him. Isn’t that what parents do? But is it still possible to love someone like that? Featured in the Scotsman‘s Top Rated Shows at the Edinburgh Festivals 2016, Mine is a harrowing examination of what a parent must overcome when their child is arrested for something truly unspeakable. It’s a play about shame, courage, guilt and forgotten victims. WINNER: Best of Brighton Fringe Theatre Award WINNER: IYAF Festival Friends Award NOMINATED: IYAF Best Individual Performance **** (Scotsman) **** (AYoungerTheatre.com) **** (BroadwayBaby.com)