Theatre review: With Child, Pleasance Courtyard - The Cellar, Edinburgh

Do this, do that – a screed of authoritarian advice on  having children, not having children and what to do with children when you’ve got them is dished out at the start of Clare Pointing’s amusing and well-observed one-woman show.

With Child, Pleasance Courtyard - The Cellar (Venue 33)

With Child, Pleasance Courtyard – The Cellar * * *

Despite each of the characters she plays being visibly pregnant, they rarely refer to this and instead deliver short Alan Bennett-style monologues on the various other things that preoccupy them.

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There’s a straight-talking Londoner with strong views on swimming pool etiquette, a down-to-earth northern lass who can’t look at her “very attractive” husband because she’s “bored of his face,” and a woman whose petty sniping escalates to a point where she feels she’s being “penalised for being British.”

Their voices often share a similarly critical perspective, the play’s implied message being: if you don’t want to be judged, stop judging.

Pointing’s an engaging comic performer who creates lovely self-contained character studies without bringing them together in a single story.

However, the pieces thematically connect to call for a less spiteful world in which women support rather than critique one another, whether in relation to having children or anything else.

SALLY STOTT

Ends tomorrow