Review: My Mother Said I Never Should

As the most widely performed play ever written by a woman, My Mother Said I Never Should, tells a poignant and moving intergenerational story, spanning seven decades to highlight the unconditional love, heartache and struggles of family, being a woman and the innocence of childhood.

Using a minimalist all female cast and stage, My Mother Said I Never Should, cleverly uses ‘The Wasteland’, music and props to weave the audience between each woman’s tale, and highlight how a landscape with ever changing moral boundaries effect the four women and how the families past actions trickle down and continue to haunt them in present day.

Exploring how the different generations break free from their parents’ traditions and culture, starting with Doris, who gave up her job as a teacher to be a housewife as she was expected to, and then her daughter Margaret who in 1951, at 20 year old, leaves her family to be with husband to be, Ken, the American who’s ambition took them away from Manchester and to London, only to find out that the life she had dreamed of is not quite how she thought it would be and to Margaret’s daughter Jackie, who we see make the journey in reverse at the beginning of the 1970’s, when new found freedoms and independence were beginning to change the choices women made.

It is Rosie, the daughter of Jackie, raised by Margaret and it is the consequences of this secret and each woman’s opinion on the issue that are explored throughout the play.

Written in 1985, the characters struggles are still relevant today as the play touches on the issues of teenage pregnancy, juggling home and work life, career prioritisation, and single motherhood with many still feeling the sting of prejudice.

“My Mother Said I Should Never” plays at the New Wolsey, Ipswich until Saturday 16th February.
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Review: Abi Mayes, Ipswich24 Magazine

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