Live Theatre Newcastle – until Saturday 11th March
Reviewed by Sandra Little
This one hour performance presented on a simple stage set by two women actors is a powerful piece of theatre! Lasagna is a play written by Catrina McHugh MBE and based on the true life experiences of women who have lost multiple children to the care system. It is co-created with women from Pause North East, a charity working with women who have had children taken into care. The accompanying pamphlet also gives special thanks to several social workers for their contribution for this piece of work.
The two characters in the play are Sally (Beth Crame ) and Jane ( Zoe Lambert). Sally is a mum who has had three children taken into care and Jane is a neighbour who develops a friendship with Sally during the first national lockdown. It transpires that the two women are from very different backgrounds but are still able to forge a very meaningful friendship with the help of lasagna and cake.
I felt that one of the most poignant parts of this play is the argument that develops between Sally and Jane. So many issues are raised in this argument and it lays bare difficulties facing both mothers and social workers when children are at risk. It also highlights the lack of support for vulnerable women and the cycle of failure from one generation to another. The anger and hurt felt by Sally, and to a certain extent Jane, was palpable throughout the play. It was a very emotional piece of theatre, especially when you know that the issues raised are based on fact and the experiences of real women, both social workers and mothers who have had children taken into care.
Open Clasp Theatre Company aim to, “Change the world one play at a time,” and in particular they hope to transform the lives of women and girls. With such powerful writing and very important subject matter we can only hope that the decision makers take note!
After the performances at Live Theatre Lasagna is playing in other parts of the country.