Mother Tongue

The struggle of one woman to become a mother is the painful, but ultimately uplifting subject of this touchingly honest autobiographical study from Californian performance artist, Jillian Lauren. With visual screens as her backdrop, Lauren portrays several characters to paint a portrait of the meaning of motherhood in the modern world, making out that, even with today’s fast-paced, materialistic lifestyles, parenthood gives her the unique grounding that keeps her going.

Amongst suffocating girlfriends who are either ‘pregnant or can’t find a partner to save their lives’, Lauren, who herself was adopted, tried almost everything to conceive. From changing diets, to acupuncture, and witch doctors to Maori ceremonies that charge hundreds of dollars, she surveys an industry that feeds off women’s misfortune. But this is not a cheerless show, and Lauren’s comic timing and ability to voice different, ebullient characters in her story do her credit: there’s an irritating but strangely enchanting hip-hop loving teenager in LA; a middle-class mother who makes parenting videos for youtube (gratingly entitled ‘Insane in the Mum brain’); and a drug addict forced to give away her child against her will.

As the idea of adoption is broached towards the play’s close, the show seems to come full circle, but the subject of adoption from overseas seems to leave a discussion hanging in the balance. Still, Lauren’s journey is a fascinating one delivered with verve.

Since you’re here…

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You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
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Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
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Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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The Blurb

Mother Tongue is an autobiographical performance by bestselling author, Jillian Lauren. It revolves around the themes of blood, tribe and identity, tracing Jillian's circuitous journey to get pregnant and, when that proves unsuccessful, to adopt her Ethopian son.

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