The Good Enough Mums Club

"Truthful, raw and important"

Having seen the concert version of The Good Enough Mums Club two years ago, I was delighted to hear that a full version of the show was to be premiered back where it started in the Patrick Studio at the Birmingham Hippodrome.  Now, it’s a very exciting time for the Hippodrome anyway with the creation of a New Musical Theatre Department and if this new musical is anything to go by, I am intrigued to see what other stories will be told by some very talented writers and performers.  New Musical Theatre is so important for the industry as a whole in our ever-changing world in order to see valid and varied representation on the stage.  It’s something that I am 100% behind.

Conceived by Emily Beecher, The Good Enough Mums Club follows the story of five completely different Mums as they navigate their way through the many joys but also the many soul-destroying lows that being a parent can bring. Taken from her own personal experience of postpartum psychosis, Emily has been able to capture the torment and despair she felt through the character of Esme, played superbly by Belinda Wollaston. You are given a front row seat of the impact this illness can have, and to see this play out on a stage for all mothers out there who may be suffering from the same thing is truly special.

The five strong cast of performers take us on a rollercoaster journey, starting with a nod to the ‘Cell Block Tango’ from Chicago.  The writing is clever, funny, poignant and heartbreaking at times, but stories like this need to be heard.  Emily herself said that Mums have never really been front and centre before in musical theatre and this propels the superwomen we all know and love, to receive the adoration and respect they deserve.

Our Mums consist of Michelle (Rebecca Bernice Amissah), a woman who was previously in a high-powered job looking after a team of 20, but struggling to cope with her twin boys.  Bea (Joanna Kirkland) is the upper class Mum who takes charge of the mother and baby group at the local community centre and tries her absolute best to raise children who are fluent in Mandarin, able to look after themselves with martial arts lessons and have a vast knowledge on renaissance artists, however she is left to look after her children alone despite having a husband who is just not around when she needs him. Sophie (Amy Ross) is a seemingly confident Mum who is enjoying her child and the joys she brings, however she is guarding a secret (I won’t spoilt this moment as it really takes you by surprise and leaves you needing to reach for the tissues!).  Chantel (Jade Samuels) is the brash Brummie single Mum (who I obviously adored and thoroughly enjoyed hearing her authentic accent on stage!) who is living hand to mouth in the wake of a cost-of-living crisis and finally Esme (Belinda Wollaston), a gay mum, who, as I mentioned before, suffers with postpartum psychosis.

Each and every story is so important and relevant to the world we live in today with various topics touched on such as Michelle having to explain to her very small twins about racism and how they will just have to live with it as they navigate life and with Chantel struggling to survive and doing her absolute best for her children despite living in a country where foodbanks outweigh McDonalds’ restaurants, which is a baffling statistic in itself. 

The songs throughout the show have been cleverly crafted and add many layers to the story.  A standout for me being Sophie’s solo number ‘Regular Mother’.  This was delivered superbly by Amy Ross who has the most beautiful and powerful voice, able to capture the moment perfectly.  Ross was also standout in the many comedic moments where the Mums portrayed their own children, a great touch to the show.

The set designed by Libby Todd took us inside the local community centre, which as a Mum myself, remember only too well.  Those few hours spent each week with other Mums are so special and as the show played out, I couldn’t help thinking back at how important that time was and why these sorts of spaces are so needed.  I also have to commend the pramography…..you may of course wonder what that words means, well it seemed fitting to explain the choreography using prams…..hope you’re still following at this point!  Movement Director and choreographer Natasha Harrison has been able to make this look so authentic, incorporating the bashing into walls that we’ve all done. 

It may seem as though this show is just tailored to an audience full of Mums, however I would disagree.  There are so many important topics touched on throughout, that this show will be accessible to all.

I’m so happy that this wonderful show is heading out on a tour as it really does deserve to be seen and will resonate with so many people up and down the country.  It’s not 100% perfect, but let’s face it, none of us are!  The authentic nature of this piece is what makes it work.  It’s truthful, raw and important.  Whatever your story, just remember that you ARE good enough!

This show was reviewed on the 27th October 2023.  The Good Enough Mums Club runs at the Birmingham Hippodrome until the 28th October 2023 before heading out on tour.  Full details can be found here: The Good Enough Mums Club

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Photo credit: Pamela Raith

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