Sarah Joy Bennett's play about an exhausted mom and her newborn infant is deeply honest and compelling storytelling
NIGHT FEED by Sarah Joy Bennett (Canvas Sky Theatre). Tarragon Extra Space. July 6 at 7 pm, July 8 at 6 pm, July 10 at 2:30 pm, July 12 at 6 pm, July 13 at 10:45 pm, July 14 at 2:30 pm. See listing. Rating: NNNNN
Night Feed exquisitely captures a moment in time that feels like an eternity. Deep in the night, an exhausted mother (Corinne Murray) nursing her newborn infant becomes overwhelmed by her inner voices (brought to life onstage by puppeteers Ginette Mohr and Sarah Joy Bennett, who also wrote the play and directs).
All the messaging that society hurls at new moms gets considered and often challenged in hilarious and poignant ways. In the stupor of sleep deprivation, inanimate objects and body parts come alive to taunt, tease and test the new mother, trying to undermine her confidence.
Murray even creates drama in the seemingly small obstacle of reaching for a drink of water. The baby on her lap, a beautiful puppet constructed by Shawna Reiter and Jonathan Davis, seems to come to life as Murray nurses, paces and tries to think of lullabies to sing.
This is deeply honest storytelling and the performers keep it profoundly compelling. Although the story will have specific meaning to people who have gone through this experience, it will also appeal universally to anyone who has endured the challenges of life-altering events.