Award-winning writer and performer Skye Loneragan talks about Though This Be Madness and what you can expect from her moving play.
I started writing Though This Be Madness before I had a baby, initially toying with 'diagnosing' Shakespeare's female leads. But once I had my sought-after wee one, time was never the same again and I had to try and write it in snatches of baby sleep and found I literally could not… finish a sentence.
At the start of the performance, I tell you "she's down, but she doesn't sleep lying down, so we may not have long" which was the truth of my early foray into motherhood. I spent hours trying to get my baby to snooze by walking her in the harness or bouncing her on the Pilates ball. I was so 'on the ball.'
Through this sleep-deprived haze and post-natal, I was also trying to make sense of the continued mental health crises of close family members. So, the play became a fractured fiction set in The Land of Lounge Room about the experience of trying to juggle caring for loved ones and a new baby, whilst somehow not depleting your own mental-health-wealth.
I knew I also wanted to make an adult show for parents or carers with babes-in-arms. I remember feeling terrified of leaving the house in case she'd cry. Would we make it...?
So I knew I wanted to make an adult show for parents or carers with babes-in-arms. The story will follow the same route but if your baby cries, that's ok, and if you need to leave to feed them then that's fine too. I will take a pause if that's what is needed!
An audience member wrote to me:
“I really appreciated having something cultural to go to...aimed at us parents but accomodated our babies. I especially related to the way your character had to constantly break away from her train of thought to bounce, smile and make bright, high-pitched noises to keep the baby entertained…”
The phrase "Once upon a Time…I Don't Have Time…" runs through it and for me has become a bit of a catchphrase for day-to-day juggling in life. This trailing pandemic has both elongated and truncated Time.
The show has dug itself deeper for me during all these cancellations, the home-not-schooling, the caring for loved ones facing huge health hurdles, the lockdown videos that emerged, set in this Land of Lounge Room!
Though This Be Madness is on stage Thu 21 - Fri 22 Apr including a special babes-in-arms performance.