Muvvahood London tour

Sunday 3 September 2017

Shows - Tours

Part stand up, part TED talk and part verbatim theatre, Libby Liburd's Muvvahood explores what it is really like to be a single mother - London tour from 3 November to 1 December 2017.
Muvvahood at Stratford Circus Arts Centre

Image: Kasia Burke

Challenging the stereotype of single mums as teenagers wearing tracksuits, scrounging off the benefits system and raising children in broken, dysfunctional homes, Libby Liburd presents her personal experiences and experiences of other single mothers of all ages, backgrounds and situations.

Muvvahood is taken from hours of interviews and extensive research into government policy to create a humorous and frank hour that mixes verbatim theatre, stand up and TED talk to ask if the children of single mothers actually live off cheesy chips and need rescuing by Jamie Oliver.

In the UK, the term 'single mother' has become synonymous with 'bad mother', and Libby asks why.

In the UK, 1 in 4 families are headed by a single parent, and 91% of single parents are mothers.

Despite popular perception, the average age of a single mother is 38, and half of single parents had their children within marriage.

Libby Liburd's Guardian video on the topic, 'What is our problem with single mothers?' was one of most popular in the parenting series 'In my Opinion' with over two million views.

Libby Liburd is an Associate Artist at Stratford Circus Arts Centre.

Her TV credits include Torchwood, St Milligan's Wharf and Autograph Hunters, which she co-created, wrote and starred in.

Her theatre work includes The Girls Next Door by Paul Ferguson, and her alter-ego Sheila Blige can often be seen in her one-woman music hall show.

She lives in Walthamstow with her teenage son and is an ex-boxer who had three fights at East End venue The Troxy.

Libby says of the show ...

"Single mothers are portrayed in a negative way by the media, and when you keep reinforcing those stereotypes you create a specific, damaging message; that a family headed by a single mother is not a family, but a 'broken home'.

I wanted to make a show that not only counteracted that derisive messaging but also something that drilled down into how these stereotypes have come about, how these prejudices exist and why as a society we just accept them.

I did months of extensive research into government policy, society and how those in power respond to single mothers, and a lot of what I uncovered shocked me.

Even as a single mother myself who is living it, who has experienced housing difficulties, financial difficulties and direct prejudice, I was still shocked - I'd simply never thought that my experiences were as a consequence of a bigger picture.

When you are raising children alone, you do find yourself isolated, stuck in that bubble of just getting on, just getting by."

Muvvahood was first presented as a work-in-progress at Camden People's Theatre as part of Sprint Festival and the Tristan Bates Theatre's First Festival of Solo Performances.

For its London tour, the show will be accompanied by an initiative to help local parents access the show, including creches, relaxed performances and ticket deals offered via local networks.

She will also be offering pre- and post-show workshops with single mothers.

Here's the trailer ...

Cast & creatives

Written and performed by Libby Liburd

Directed by Julie Addy

Designed by Emily Harwood

Produced with support from Stratford Circus Arts Centre.

Supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

Venues and dates

London tour: 3 November to 1 December 2017

3 - 4 November

The Park Theatre

Clifton Terrace

Finsbury Park

London N4 3JP  

Fri 8pm, Sat 3.30pm & 8pm

11 November

Popular Union

2 Cotall Street


London E14 6TL             

Times and prices TBC

23 November

Mirth, Marvel & Maud

186 Hoe Street


London E17 4QH

8pm - £12 (£10 concs)

30 November - 1 December

Pleasance, London

Carpenters Mews

North Road

London N7 9EF

7-45pm - £12 (£10 concs)

Age guidance:12+

Duration:60 mins, no interval


Check venues for details


Libby Liburd website

Park Theatre

Popular Union

Mirth, Marvel & Maud

Pleasence, London

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