string(9) "cambridge"

Review: millennium baby

A relatable rendition of teenage girl-hood through the pandemic


The first noticeable thing about Alix Addinall’s ‘millennium baby’ is the intimate set design. Imogen Woods-Wilford, playing the main character Robin, is laying on the bed in a nest of litter, reminiscent of everybody’s lockdown hovel, and the Corpus Playroom works in Addinall’s advantage in every way. Robin, stuck in her room during the pandemic, spends the play reflecting on her life as a ‘millennium baby’. Born in the year 2000, Robin has lived through Trump, Brexit and rising global political tensions before her life has seemingly come to a stand-still. Robin considers how she and her schoolfriends grew up and grew apart, the evolution of her relationship with her mother and her eventual love interest in a girl at university, Freya (Flossie Adrian). After several lockdowns she’s reached breaking point and is too scared to leave her room, but her connection with Freya might be the safety (or risk) she’s been looking for.

Millennium baby’s lighting design by Angus Cha is certainly deserving of a mention and is possibly one of the most effective features. Robin descends into her own mind several times during the play, which was most effective when her school-friends induce it. The actors’ sudden switch from playful laughter to the inside of a 15 year old girl’s mind is powerful to watch and something which the sound and lighting departments should be proud of. The lighting fades into a blue and crashing waves play over Robin’s breakdown leaving the audience with recitations of slightly clumsy poetry but in the way that every teenage girl wrote slightly clumsy poetry. Woods-Wilford’s monologues are another way of captivating her ‘millennium’ audience by drawing them into second-hand embarrassment at the memory of doing exactly the same.

Edith Stewart plays Robin’s mum (Image credits: Miranda Crawford)

The stand-out performance in ‘millennium baby’ is from Amenie Groves’ Carla, a schoolfriend of Robin’s. The most natural actress of the cast in terms of inhabiting her character, she develops a background character into a fully-fledged friend in a way that really speaks to the female audience. Carla is someone you see yourself in and someone who you recognise in the girls you went to school with: a little jarring to see on stage, but only because you know her so well.

The stand-out performance in ‘millennium baby’ is from Amenie Groves’ Carla, a schoolfriend of Robin’s. The most natural actress of the cast in terms of inhabiting her character, she develops a background character into a fully-fledged friend in a way that really speaks to the female audience. Carla is someone you see yourself in and someone who you recognise in the girls you went to school with: a little jarring to see on stage, but only because you know her so well.

Robin’s mum (Edith Stewart) is scripted a little awkwardly but Stewart’s enthusiasm for her character is what makes the scenes between herself and Robin incredibly moving. The writing portrays a mother desperate to help her daughter and a daughter indifferent to her mother’s attention, a situation resounding in many people’s lives. Scenes between Robin and her mother transition from lighter and funnier to much darker, as the mother begins to recognise her daughter’s warning signs.

Another excellent performance came from Flossie Adrian‘s Freya, who provides a natural representation of a relationship’s awkward first stages. Adrian made Woods-Wilford’s unsettled onstage persona much more comfortable and the actresses were able to complement each other’s stage presences in a way that created an authentic early relationship. The scenes in Robin’s uni room which navigated the alienness of Robin’s first ‘grown-up’ relationship with Freya were some of the highlights of Addinall’s writing.

Robin (Imogen Woods-Wilford) on the left, and Jake (Yaz O’Mahoney) on the right (Image credits: Miranda Crawford)

Millennium baby is a touching rendition of what it was to be a teenage girl throughout the pandemic, and Addinall’s shameless interjections of awkward, dramatic poetry are what give the show its slightly painful relatability.

3.5/5

Millennium baby is showing at the Corpus Playroom from 18-21 October, at 9:30pm. Book your tickets here.