Bolton mother and daughter set to perform in ‘Be My Baby’ production

The Marco Players production of Amanda Whittington’s award winning, ‘Be My Baby’, is about four young girls in a mother and baby home in the mid-1960s when the social stigma of unmarried mothers meant most were forced to give their babies up for adoption.

The play first opened in 1998 and its popularity has seen it become a set text for English GCSE students for several years now and is set to be showcased from February 7 to 10.

Julie Hall, a veteran of the Marco stage, plays ‘Mrs. Adams’, the mother of a pregnant teenage girl.

She’ll be joined for the first time on stage by Vivienne, her 16-year-old daughter who plays ‘Norma’ one of the other girls in the home.

Julie said: “It’s lovely doing something together, I’ve been doing this for years, but Viv has only had small parts until now.”

Vivienne added: “I’ve watched Mum on stage for so long now, I was dying to get up and have a go at a proper character part myself!”

Julie and Vivienne are joined by experienced actress Joy Plowes as the Matron of the home and newcomers Laura Duffy as the naive ‘Dolores’ and Mindi Leonard-Lockett as Mrs. Adams’ daughter ‘Mary’.

But regardless of their experience, the all-female cast has been quite struck by the impact of Amanda Whittington’s poignant script.

Laura said: “It’s amazing to think how attitudes have changed.

“I can’t imagine having to go through what these young girls had to endure – it must have affected their whole lives.”

The fourth girl in the home – the streetwise ‘Queenie’ – is played by Marco regular Chelsea Blundell-Nelson who already knows the role rather well.

Three weeks ago, she was called on at short notice to play the part at the Garrick Theatre Whitefield in their production of the same play when their ‘Queenie’ was taken ill on opening night.

Chelsea said: “It does feel odd – performing the same role with two different casts and I’ve enjoyed both – they are both very capable sets of actresses in their own – but very different – ways.”

Jacqui Brian, director of the play said: “I was in a production of it some years ago and I knew then I wanted to direct it – it’s such a great play: well written, very moving, but still with lots of humour – and all to the background of a brilliant 60s soundtrack.

“I’m very pleased to have such a capable cast.

“This is a play that needs decent actresses in all the roles, including the smaller parts, and fortunately The Marco Players has both experienced members and an open attitude to newcomers who together have produced a piece of theatre which I’m very proud of.”

‘Be My Baby’ runs from Tuesday February 7 to Saturday February 10 at The Marco Players, Stepping Stones, Chorley Old Road, Bolton.

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The Bolton News | Theatre