The Baby Diary

The Baby Diary, a new comic play by Emily Watson Howes first seen on BBC Online, seems to have a lot going for it at first. Watson Howes has a brilliant pedigree, with a selection of high-starred reviews and sell out runs for the Umbrella Birds. So it comes as a surprise that The Baby Diary is a disappointment.The show follows the evangelical Baptist couple Jenny and Mike. Jenny, despite fears that she kills everything she touches, is finally pregnant. Mike, stuck in redundancy, has decided to make a baby diary documenting the pregnancy. Joining this awkward pair is Simon, their fireman flatmate with a love of depressing films, and Sandra, Jenny’s unfortunately infertile best friend. The play pokes fun at the hysteria and over-preparedness of couples experiencing pregnancy for the first time, all taking place in their little maisonette.There are some big chuckles here. Richard Crawley gives a particularly amusing performance as Simon the fireman. The awkward character is immovable and unaware of the pregnancy and his blissful ignorance is charming. Jot Davies as Mike also gets his moments with Dadblog where his earnest desire to get popularity for the diary is hilariously touching. Despite these moments of saving grace, the story lacks entertainment value and is bland overall. The awkward characters are entertaining but lack proper development. The progression of the pregnancy is the only thing that keeps the plot from coming to an absolute standstill. On top of that, the relationships between the characters are serviceable but don’t seem to change very much. More irritating than the plot was the inexpert use of video. Some of the moments of The Baby Diary were played out on a screen on the back wall of the stage. Not only did the premise of these change from scene to scene but they also used slides to tell us about baby’s developments. This seemed pointless as Jenny’s increasing size already did this. One particularly hateful scene was played out at the flat door through this video, but could have been simply achieved with another actor and a door bell effect. This show is almost as dull as the relationship between Jenny and Mike themselves, and believe me, that is saying a lot.

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

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.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

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.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

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.
Donate to Acting For Others now

The Blurb

Jenny is pregnant. Simon is quite lonely. Mike is a bit angry. Sandra is infertile. A new comic play by Emily Watson Howes (writer of BBC Radio 4's ‘The Ladies’). First seen on BBC comedy online.

Most Popular See More

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Frozen the Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Wicked

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Mousetrap

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets