Written and performed by Katie Guicciardi, Fox tells the ups and downs and asks the difficult questions of motherhood, including ‘It’s your job to take care of your child; but who takes care of you?’
Put on by Carbon Theatre and taking the first stop of its tour in Greenwich Theatre, the stage (designed by Alex Marker) is set for this raw performance depicting the life of a new mother. A rocking chair and crib sit on the audience’s left, and a very large doll house is set to the right. Guicciardi cradles a stuffed bunny as her infant (one might think this is a weird choice, but personally I loved it as opposed to a potentially off-putting baby doll). Though visually appealing, the props don’t allow much room for Guicciardi to perform, thus not always captivating my attention.
Directed by Lisa Cagnacci, Guicciardi, as a new mother, begins the play by telling us her thoughts of having a new child: “It’s like waking up to Christmas every morning,” “I stare at him for hours.” She admits she gets almost no sleep yet insists it’s worth it for her baby. As the play goes on, she speaks directly to the audience, revealing her emotions to us and, seemingly, to herself. One particularly infuriating moment was when the husband, who works long hours, tells his wife, “There’s not much I can do right now; I can’t breastfeed.” Even more infuriatingly, she accepts it. Though made up, scenarios like these are all too common, emphasizing the importance of this topic being discussed, shown, and explored.
In addition to issues surrounding new mothers, Guicciardi also explores the feelings and questions surrounding homelessness. She isn’t sure if she should talk to the homeless man living outside her flat or how to help him. She links helplessness and isolation of being a new mother to homelessness, which though interesting and worked sometimes, needed to be a bit clearer in others.
The ending is abrupt and did not give a sign of hope, which could be very discouraging to people who want to one day have children. Though I am not one for a careless happy ending, I wish she would have given some sign of hope for the mother’s mental health, which we watched slowly deteriorate.
Fox is touring around the UK for the next few months; check to see if it’s coming to a city near you!
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