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    Giving Up Marty, The Vaults – Review – Everything Theatre

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    Giving Up Martythrows us into the heart wrenching complexities of adoption in this poignant piece by Karen Bartholomew. An ensemble piece set on a stark stage consisting in the main of chairs, washing lines and the five actors themselves. Oh! And the file. The adoption file. I know how successful this play is in bringing to air the issues surrounding adoption because come the final time that file is pulled out, a wave of nausea comes upon me. Joel (born Marty) wasn’t looking for his birth parents.  He knew he was adopted but hadn’t searched them out. Rather, his…

    Rating



    Excellent

    A poignant expose of the heart wrenching complexities of adoption.

    User Rating: 4.6 ( 1 votes)

    Giving Up Martythrows us into the heart
    wrenching complexities of adoption in this poignant piece by Karen Bartholomew.
    An ensemble piece set on a stark stage consisting in the main of chairs,
    washing lines and the five actors themselves. Oh! And the file. The adoption
    file. I know how successful this play is in bringing to air the issues
    surrounding adoption because come the final time that file is pulled out, a
    wave of nausea comes upon me.

    Joel (born Marty) wasn’t looking for his birth parents.  He knew he was adopted but hadn’t searched
    them out. Rather, his birth mother and biological sister have appealed to the
    system to find and reach out to him. In explaining how he came to be adopted,
    Kit, his adoptive Mum explains to Joel that some people make mistakes. Joel is
    appalled, “They made a mistake!?” And thus the play continues to brilliantly
    highlight the mistrust and stupefying responses of all involved in the adoption
    process.

    There is love present of course but it’s buried in a heady
    mix of bureaucracy and loss; the birth mother’s loss, a sister who lost her
    brother, Joel’s loss of blood relatives. There is also a sense of not quite
    fitting in, or as he puts it, “it’s like putting on a coat that doesn’t quite
    fit’, and the desire for family from the adopting mother.  All these aspects of adoption aren’t easily
    resolved, and indeed the play doesn’t try to do so. Instead it successfully
    sheds light on it all.

    And then there is that file. When Martha is appealing to
    Femi, the adoption agency employee, to find her son, he’s holding it as he
    presents her with reasons not to pursue this, leading her to cry “Are you
    trying to depress me?” Later, Joel has opportunity to read it and it turns out
    to be depressing reading. It’s cold, there’s no heart in it. His adoptive
    mother called him a gift from God and Joel declares that’s what his file SHOULD
    have read, “Marty, a gift from God.”

    Across the breadth of the play all five cast members present
    their case directly to the audience, which make for some of the show’s most
    moving and poignant moments. Your heart is drawn to each of them, even Femi, as
    he declares “We are protective not just of the children but the conventions
    around them.” But it’s ultimately Marty who best describes the predicament as “like
    being born in all directions.”Giving Up Marty is a play well worth seeing. Purposeful and heart
    wrenching on a subject that will continue to be with us.

    Written by: Karen Bartholomew
    Directed by: Annie Sutton
    Produced by: Karen Batholomew and Motormouse Productions
    Booking Link: https://vaultfestival.com/whats-on/giving-up-marty/
    Booking Until: 12 March, 2020



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