‘Belly Up’ is an ‘arresting’ new comedy set in London in the reign of mad King George. After killing her master’s son in an unfortunate accident, Liberty Whitley, 23, tries to escape her inevitable death sentence by ‘pleading the belly’: that is, gaining a reprieve through pregnancy.
So all Libby has to do is convince a jury she's up the duff. The problem is, she isn’t, and nor – being a lesbian stuck in the women’s ward – is she likely to become so... unless of course she can find a convict willing to impregnate her... and be quick about it. But brutal Newgate prison is not exactly Tinder, especially when you’re trying to shag your way out of impending death. However, where there’s a will, there’s a way, and as this riveting romp of a play unfolds, Libby’s more than ingenious ‘way’ reveals itself to the audience against a background that will have powerful echoes for today’s women.
Through a comedic lens, the play celebrates women’s voices in a period of history that muted them. Her story unfolds against the backdrop of one of the most politically uncertain eras of British history - an era of intermittent food crisis, war, and fears of revolution.
Above all, this is a play about sex – dodgy sex, but sex nonetheless. For Libby, the kind of sex that gets her going (the girl-on-girl, not-really-allowed-in-the-Georgian-era kind) is the thing that gets her into trouble. And it’s another kind of sex (the penis-centric kind) that has to get her out of it. The courts rule that Libby's reason for being is to bear children. But, through gritted teeth, she discovers her own.Book Now
Julia Grogan recently graduated from Rose Bruford College, where she studied on the BA Honours Acting course. Julia is currently in the Royal Court Writers' Group 2019/20. Lydia Higman studied History at Oxford University where she began writing comedy. The pair have been best friends since meeting on a hockey pitch age thirteen.Book Now
"Lauren Dickson's direction fluctuates between points of energy and other, more quiet junctures where she allows the characters to come down from their high and face the core issue of the play fully." (Broadway World)
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