Abooo Theatre tells stories about parenting: those who have had children, those who cannot and those who have lost them. Abooo aims to provide accessible theatre to parents with babies to come and watch during the daytime. It also practices a parent-friendly process to ensure continued accessibility to work for creative professionals who are parents.

Abooo was founded by myself, Clare Cameron, actor and Mum. I was inspired by the multitude of new, often hilarious, occasionally devastating and regularly unpredictable, experiences which my husband and I shared  as we found our way to parenthood. I saw great potential for some extraordinary and meaningful story-telling from these new-found experiences. Whilst pregnant, I soon realised that I had never spent so much time in all-female environments. With actresses currently under-represented in theatre generally, it struck me that pregnancy and new parenthood are rarely reflected on our stages. Equally, I realised that we rarely see topics such as miscarriage, stillbirth, infertility, perinatal depression on our stages yet so many share these experiences.

Abooo's inception was marked by the awarding of a temporary, repurposed space in central Manchester. It was awarded by the charity 3Space to whom I am eternally grateful. Sadly, as with most temporary spaces, it has now been returned to it's owners. Since then Aboo has shared work at HOME in the cafe space creating an informal environment for parents to come and watch theatre with their babies. We were invited to participate in the B!RTH Festival at the Royal Exchange Theatre, to share work at the PUSH 2017 Festival at HOME and, most recently, we gave a free baby & toddler friendly, deveIopmental reading of a full-length script at HOME in T2.

 I've participated in roundtable dicussion on the role of children in performance, attended a discussion at the House of Commons on the importance of maternal health in pregnancy and beyond and been guest speaker for the Manchester Mothers Who Make group. I've also been interviewed by life coach and Mum, Nicky Raby about Abooo; the interview can be read at

www.nickyraby.com/coachingblog/interview-with-clare-cameron

Abooo continues to bring together professionals in performing arts to work out a sustainable and practical way in which we can make socially relevant theatre with our best creations alongside us in the room. Afterall, who knows more about play and creativity than children?

 

In case you're wondering Abooo was named by my son; his (then) favourite word!

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