As part of its contribution to the Dublin Theatre Festival, the Abbey theatre, premiered a new play by a new author, Carmel Winter’s B for Baby at their downstairs Peacock venue. At one level there is a controversial aspect to this production as the main storyline is set in a residential care home for adults with intellectual disabilities.
We meet the childlike resident, B, who just plays at hairdressing and wants a real scissors and his female counterpart, D, who comes across as worldly-wise and acerbic, who says the things sentient adults might not say. They are played by Louis Lovett and Michele Moran. There is a partially parallel story played by the same actors of Brian, a confused husband with a cruel streak and Mrs C, a frustrated wife, who desperately wants to conceive and have a baby. She is a part-time worker at the care home and she has sex with B in a gentle tender game of naked boobydoobydoos.
You could sense the audience were divided and in a later scene the cruel husband swops the wife’s’ dog for a snake, saying it is as cool-blooded as she is, people actually reacted out loud.
Then, I think the author got cold feet and inserted a later scene that suggested that it was all in the childlike B’s mind.
I think this was a cop-out and it robbed the work of a final impact – a wishy washy look – at issues theatre. Pity.
Michele Murfi directed at a slow ponderous pace with the actors slowly changing scenes in an ethereal fluffy background.