Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Wed 4–Sat 7 Feb, then touring
Everyone has heard the urban myth about the teenage girl who has children in order to get on a council house list. The persistence of the story speaks volumes about our prejudices against teenage mums, so it’s timely that Vivian French’s play, a co-production between Stellar Quines and the young Perissology company, should surface with a bit of myth-busting.
In it we meet two very different girls, a young Goth and a ‘townie’, both of whom fall pregnant. They are sent to the local school for young mothers, where unease at the differences between them gives rise to a more complex relationship.
‘There’s no prejudice allowed – this piece is totally non judgemental about people,’ explains director Jemima Levick. ‘It doesn’t spend its time saying, “Don’t have sex, don’t drink,” – let’s face it, teenagers are going to do it anyway. So it suggests instead that people should think about these things if they’re going to do them, and understand that the consequences might throw up certain issues.’
There is a good deal of entertainment to be had in the clash of cultures between the aspirational girl and her nihilistic antagonist, but beyond that, Levick maintains that the play is unafraid of presenting complex dilemmas: ‘It doesn’t answer questions for you, it expects a lot of the audience. The play presents these kids’ stories and attitudes, so hopefully people who see it won’t just cross the road when they see these teenage kids. They’re just as frightened of you as you are of them, and they’re filled with uncertainties.’