A parent and baby performance of the play Emilia will be staged next month, in what is believed to be a first for the West End.
The special performance will take place at the matinee of the show on April 24 at the Vaudeville Theatre, after playwright Morgan Lloyd Malcolm became aware of the plight of a mother with a baby who wanted to see the play, and asked if there was a parent and baby performance.
I don’t suppose there’s a parent and baby or relaxed perf? I so want to see it but bubba not taken many bottles as yet so running time prohibits 😩😩😩 🤞
— Gemma Goggin (@TheGoggin) March 20, 2019
Now, producers Eleanor Lloyd and Nica Burns, who owns the Vaudeville Theatre, will operate what is being called a “pilot” parent and baby performance.
The Let Them Roar matinee will allow all breast and bottle-fed babies to attend.
Lloyd told The Stage: “I have two children under three, so the memory of being pinned to the sofa by a baby for hours at a time is still very current with me. It can be a frustrating and boring time. Small babies don’t like being left, but they are very portable. I fed my babies in marketing meetings, play readings, rehearsals. I know that it is possible to engage your brain while also allowing a small person to suck on your nipple or a teat.”
She added: “Emilia is a play that breaks the fourth wall and hopefully inspires and activates its audiences, so what better opportunity to welcome babies and their carers into the theatre. We are lucky to have Nica Burns as our co-producer and theatre owner, who is up for giving it a try, and we have been overwhelmed by the response.”
The relaxed performance follows the first West End job-share last year, in which Charlene Ford was able to share a role in 42nd Street.
42nd Street performer becomes first in West End history to job-share