Edinburgh Fringe Spotlight—Raven, A Reflection on Motherhood - CircusTalk

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Edinburgh Fringe Spotlight—Raven, A Reflection on Motherhood

In Germany, an insult that is used to shame women for daring to have a career and children is ‘raven mother’. The three mothers of the show Raven, playing at Assembly Roxy until August 26th, dismantle the misogyny behind this insult, and tenderly reconstruct their world of broken dreams, the surreal exhaustion of long term sleep disruption, motherly adoration, and the dishonorable, frustrated tendency of mother judging mother in the absence of support networks. Using nothing more than a rope, a pile of laundry, their babies, and a projector, Anke Lena and Romy put on a banging, thought-provoking and emotional circus show.

Produced by Chamāleon Productions, the all-female collective Still Hungry of Berlin has created a spectacular show that gets  all of the elements just right—love, strife and a dash of outrage. Anke van Engelshoven, in the midst of caring for her newborn child, enters a dream sequence where she reminisces about the days of smoking, going out until 3am, and dancing unfettered by any cares or responsibilities. In a powerful cinematic scene, she speaks of her longing for those days while donning a sequined outfit and a fringed up jacket before she climbs the rope and turns out a badass act to a powerful house music beat. Does the rope give her those moments of youth and freedom back?

Every conceivable fear a mother has which can spark up from lack of personal time arises in this show. Aging, body changes, loss of self. But the one thing the three women never do is dwell excessively on the label of raven mother, perhaps bec...
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Kim Campbell

Kim Campbell has written about circus for CircusTalk.News, Spectacle magazine, Circus Now, Circus Promoters and was a resident for Circus Stories, Le Cirque Vu Par with En Piste in 2015 at the Montreal Completement Cirque Festival. They are the former editor of American Circus Educators magazine, as well as a staff writer for the web publication Third Coast Review, where they write about circus, theatre, arts and culture. Kim is a member of the American Theater Critics Association.