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Ifs, Buts and Babies @ The Second Space, Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

Published by: Yvonne Delahaye on 27th Apr 2013 | View all blogs by Yvonne Delahaye

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As an actress I’m very much aware that good comedy roles for women are few and far between, especially as you reach your ‘middle youth’!  The ratio of roles for men to women is about 3 to 1, so competition is very fierce.  The best solution to this dearth of good roles for women seems to be to get out and write your own!  It’s certainly worked well for Miranda and touring shows like Calendar Girls and Hormonal Housewives, playing to packed houses, prove that there is a big market for plays starring women enacting women’s lives.

When Avelia Moisey and Jill Neenan met in 2004 their oldest kids were 3 years old, attending the village nursery.  They soon realised that they had similar backgrounds having trained in music and theatre and had both worked professionally in the business.  Coffee mornings soon became an opportunity for them to start bouncing ideas off each other for their own show and ‘Ifs, Buts and Babies’ was born!IMG_7379e.jpg

 Avelia studied trumpet, organ and singing at the Royal Academy of Music and her career has encompassed international tours and West End theatre work including Cats, Calamity Jane (with Toyah Wilcox) and Oliver.  She has recorded original CDs with Marti Webb (after touring with Magic of the Musicals) and Brain Conley in Jolson.

 Jill graduated from University of Warwick with a BA Honours in Music and Drama and went on to study at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama.  Jill has appeared in panto, opera, musical theatre and classical shows include performing as Principal Soloist at the London Palladium and at the Schonbruun Palace in Vienna.

Ifs, Buts and Babies takes a light-hearted look at the highs and lows of being a parent, from the desire to have a baby through to the first day at school.

Highly entertaining, this professional two woman show provides down to earth snapshots of the trials and tribulations, tears and triumphs of parenthood through outstanding original songs and duologues, including When Is The Time For Me?, If Only and Big Knickers.

Avelia and Jill create a variety of different unrelated characters from stressed out mums, to babies, toddlers, a  supernanny and a physiologist.   The predominantly female audience laughed and chuckled as they recognised only too well the different scenarios, advice and frustrations of being a parent.  I’m not a parent myself, but coming from a large family I have lots of nieces and nephews and understand how hard it must be to know how to handle the varying demands of parenthood and be able to juggle your own life.

The show is a great mix of comedy, interspersed with cleverly written songs and some fun dance routines, but with just the right amount of pathos in the song Why Me?  Unlike some of the other female shows that can perhaps be too focused on hormones and the female anatomy, this show keeps it to real life experiences, situations and emotions.  They’ve also made it very accessible to men, as they would also be able to relate to the demands of parenthood portrayed.  Far too often men can feel excluded from women’s shows, as instead of dealing with our own issues, they go down the feminist route and take a pop at men’s inadequacies.  Sure we all know that 'Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus', but, hey, vie la difference – life would be pretty boring without them!

This is an enjoyable night out for any stressed out parent to relax and have a good laugh!

The show is touring to:

10th & 11th May, Aldridge Youth Theatre, Walsall
15th June, Players Theatre, Thame
21st June, The Guildhall Theatre, Derby
27th June, Harrogate Theatre
13th & 14th September, Limelight Theatre, Aylesbury
16th October, Old Town Hall Theatre, Hemel Hempstead

Further dates and show information, please visit:

Reviewed by:
Yvonne Delahaye


1 Comment

  • Cameron Lowe
    by Cameron Lowe 5 years ago
    Thanks, Yvonne. I agree that shows with strong female-centric subject matter should not necessarily exclude a male audience. It sounds like a new breed of shows written by women about women could be ready to entertain both sexes!
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