Despite that fact that the show was born out of my experience with severe postnatal depression and postnatal psychosis I am still always deeply moved whenever someone else comes to me and shares their own stories. One of my favourite thing about working on The Knee High Design Challenge has been the amount of time we get to spend talking to women after the shows, and a really wide variety of women at that.
Art tends to be created in a vacume, you constantly ask yourself – ‘Is this funny?’, ‘Will they get it?’, ‘Does it connect?’ and so on. You don’t really ever get a solidified answer – each audience is so incredibly different – but every time we put it out there and someone really connects with it there’s a little voice in my head who punches the air and shouts “YES!”
At our sold out Friday night performance I met the writer of the blog post below. In the bar, before the show, she shared her own story of postnatal psychosis and recovery. She has a similar desire to make sure women don’t have to suffer in the ways she did.
Knowing that she too has been in the darkness and has fought her way out, for me, make her kind words even sweeter and goes some way in showing how much of an impact this work can have.
Excerpt from an original post by Kathryn Grant:
So this morning as we left the local pub (a unique venue for toddler singing group!) this poster caught my eye…
A short while later, after some tense babysitting negotiations with the husband, there I was in the function room upstairs with my white wine spritzer and keen for the “read through” of this new show to begin…
I had already met the writer, Emily Beecher, downstairs at the bar… She had written the piece, it turns out, following severe post natal mental illness. I felt drawn to these ladies already! And they were very interested when I told them of my new PANDAS support group. Dare I use the word “synergy” in context here???
From the hilarious opening bars (exclamations ranging from joy to despair, holding pregnancy sticks aloft!) I was transfixed. The five ladies were attending their mums and babies group in a church hall (briefly taking on the personas of their respective toddlers from time to time). Esme was the new girl (on the verge of mental illness), Perfect Pam the annoying organiser and über Tiger Mum, Amy the loving mother of a terminally ill child. We also had the mum of “Satan’s Spawn”, and single mum Flo who has found herself knocked up again.
The dialogue zips along, but the songs were simply outstanding – both the tunes, and the lyrics.
“When Will I Ever Be Good Enough?”
“What The F*** Is Up With Kid’s TV? What else is a busy/tired/sick/hungover/stay-at-home/working mum supposed to do?”
“Am I the only one? Why didn’t you warn me?”
“They’re impressed… But I’m depressed”
“Who do you mother when there’s nothing left at all?”
The outrageously funny “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Boobs“
… All leading to the beautiful final message:
“Remember no-one is more good enough than you”.
I really do urge you all to check out the Facebook page, and look out for more from this amazing group. The topic of the “perfect mother” comes up a lot in our regular PND twitter chats – this musical put it all into words, and song, and made me feel so grateful for the Good Enough Mum.
Thank you again Kathryn, Emily. x