Review: Coronation Street star’s stage debut truly is a labour of love

Be My Baby at the Pomegranate Theatre, Chesterfield, from October 11 to 15.

Be My Baby at the Pomegranate Theatre, Chesterfield, from October 11 to 15.

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Teenagers in the Sixties lived through a revolutionary time spiced with iconic music, cutting edge fashion and a permissive society.

But despite the advent of the contraceptive pill and the free love that came with it, Victorian values were ingrained in many families.

Unmarried girls who became pregnant were treated like a dirty secret, exiled from the family home for a few months while they went through childbirth and the inevitable adoption of their offspring

It’s against this backdrop that the play Be My Baby unfolds at Chesterfield’s Pomegranate Theatre this week.

Brooke Vincent, best known as Sophie Webster in Coronation Street, makes her stage debut in this adaptation of Amanda Whittington’s poignant tale.

She plays worldly-wise, mouthy mum-to-be Queenie who dreams of pop stardom as she listens to The Ronettes, Dusty and Cilla on a Dansette record player while puffing a cigarettel

Her room-mate at the mother and baby convent is bank clerk Mary (played by Jess Cummings), whose mum (Susan Twist) is desperate to hide the fact that her daughter has been knocked up.

Fellow mums-to-be are played by Eva McKenna whose voice is a dead ringer for Jane Horrocks, and Josie Cerise.

Ruth Madoc of Hi de Hi fame is cast as the straight-talking matron who is nursing her own sorrow which becomes apparent as the play progresses. The final scene in which she is clutching a teddy as the lights fade really tugs the heart-strings.

This is a play which will make you laugh, make you cry and make you appreciate that society is more compassionate nowadays...or is it?

or is it?