Mad Max meets Little Miss Sunshine in this new, raw version of ‘Mother Courage and Her Children’

Review written by A Level Drama student, Zainab Imran

The masterpiece that is ‘Mother Courage and Her Children’ by Bertolt Brecht has been around since 1939, but never has anyone seen it stunningly re-imagined and adapted by Anna Jordan into such a playful, evocative and epic version at the Royal Exchange Theatre.

Set in the year 2080, war has torn society and countries apart into grids and groups; the red and the blues. But all of this is nothing for our main character, Mother Courage (played by Julie Hesmondhalgh) who is nothing but spunk, determined and seemingly unshakeable. Travelling miles across grids, dragging a broken van along with her equally broken children and desperately selling her wares, it isn’t to say it doesn’t threaten the slightly endearing yet dysfunctional family unit they have. Destruction follows every foot they take, and Mother Courage must face the consequences of her choices in order to survive in an uncontrollable war no one can seem to find a reason for, or even end.

This dystopian tragedy is mixed with disturbing, tongue-in-cheek-comedy, fantastic music scores by Jim Fortune and powerful, tear-jerking scenes by a brilliantly diverse cast; you can’t help but feel a small Tarantino-twist that reflects world events of the present day. It’s seductive, punk, messy and all the more gritty and real, astounding our Loreto students and audiences.

Up for a devastating, heart-breaking family road trip through World War Three? This one’s for you!