We are a group of (mostly) midwives who have had experience of working with drama and theatre. We use performance and theatre workshops to explore realistic and familiar situations from the world of midwifery. Our workshops are interactive, illuminating and enjoyable. Participants come away with a feeling that they have learnt something new about themselves and the context within which we work – and enjoyed themselves.
We develop our material through devising from our own and others’ stories of the culture of maternity care. We perform a series of short scenes depicting every day dilemmas, and then invite the audience to debate and analyse what is going on. Observers also make suggestions about how things could be different – and participants are invited to demonstrate these by entering the ‘scene’ and acting them out. Using theatre in this way is based on the work of South American dramaturge Augusto Boal who wrote Theatre of the Oppressed.
We have been working together since 1999 following an idea which originated from Professor Mavis Kirkham. We believe, as Mavis says that “The culture of maternity care in the NHS serves to empower neither midwives nor their clients. To change this culture midwives need to explore how they can change both their behaviour and that of others”. Our theatre aims to do that.