Guest reviewer: Isabelle Tyner
Play Inside is an experimental podcast that brings its first series, Other Mothers, to our homes. With a diverse range of writers and actors from disabled, queer and ethnic minority backgrounds, it definitely holds itself accountable for an inclusive production. Addressing the topics of IVF, sexuality, loss, illness and maternal-life, Other Mothers sets out to invite audiences into the narrator’s world, guiding us to go to certain parts of the house while we listen to various short-stories. Igniting sensitive emotions and empathy, it successfully delivers the complexities and fragilities of Motherhood, from four women’s perspectives in the form of monologues.
Of the four stories, Meesh (played by Lynsey Murrell, the first of the four stories) seemed the most engaging and well-written. Battling with her feminist agenda, physicality and motherly instincts, Meesh is going through the turbulent process of IVF. Speaking through the raw words of Michelle Roche, she confronts us with a very real fear that once society tells us to stop preventing having a child during the most fertile years of our life, can we actually have one? A line that echoed this specifically was ‘We just assumed we’d be mothers, and we bleed to prove it’.
Gender expectations are thrown chaotically around her head as the realisation of single-parent families; sperm-donors and having a fertile shelf life consume her. The darting thoughts and poetic language really capture the character’s pain of the waiting game for her results.
All four stories held their own, and all the cast and writers are to be much-admired for bringing taboo topics and maternal truths to light. Other Mothers should be given a listen to by anyone and everyone, after all, we’re all here because of them.