My Mum's a Twat

What happens when your mum abandons you at the age of 12 to join a cult and move to Canada? That’s exactly the predicament Anoushka Warden found herself in, subsequent to her parents’ relationship breakdown.

An interesting story of parental neglect and self discovery

As the performance starts, Warden regales us with tales of her idyllic childhood – sailing, horse riding and tennis lessons; breakfast in bed; shopping splurges and lots of kisses and creative support. Until her mum sets up home with ‘moron’, and they both become attached to the insidious ‘Heal Thyself Centre for Self Realisation and Transcendence’. They consume all her time and money, so when her mum relocates to Canada, she decides to stay in the UK with her dad. No more shopping trips, no more hot drinks, and no more cuddles. Ironically, it’s during her visits to Canada that Warden finds solace in the arms of a local drug dealer and the culture of gangsta rap.

The piece is autobiographical, and therefore has the potential to be an engaging story. Warden does confess that she’s not an actress – however her story has been over-rehearsed to the point of removing every ounce of emotion from it. The delivery is staid, robotic and devoid of passion which means that our attention drifts over the hour. On the surface, we feel like we know the story of Warden’s life by the end – however there’s a depth that’s never reached. I’d liked to have heard more about the emotional abandonment, and how she survived those years. There was an air of privilege and teen angst in the fact that, despite now being in her mid-20’s, Warden’s main source of indignation is receiving shells for her 18th birthday. One gets the sense that there’s a whole other level to Warden’s experiences that we never quite get to hear about.

My Mum’s A Twat is an interesting story of parental neglect and self discovery. To elevate the performance, Warden must dig deeper and provide some emotional depth to the writing. Focussing purely on the material aspects risks Warden coming across as spoilt, and I don’t think this is the case. It’s possibly easier to focus on the tangible elements of abandonment – but it doesn’t make for a convincing performance.

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

'My mum wasn't always a twat. But sometime after I turned 10, everything changed. She stopped taking me shopping. She regularly forgot my birthday. And she thought she could heal people.' After a sold-out run at the Royal Court Theatre in January 2018, Anoushka Warden performs her funny and honest account of losing her mum to a cult in a new version directed by Debbie Hannan. A teen-spirited and gangsta rap fuelled survival guide to growing up with an actual twat for a mum. 'An ultimately joyous testament to teenage resilience...' (Time Out).

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