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Mummy Vs

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‘Part wrestling, part stand up – all relevant !

During lockdown 3.1 million households across the UK were plunged in to a childcare crisis. Behind closed doors battles raged, nerves were ripped, champions emerged.

Now these battles are coming to the ring!

Mummy Vs is a show about a parent who happens to be a wrestler, and her battle to keep her sanity vaguely in tact.

6.15 pm show – BSL interpreted

Heather Bandenburg: Mummy Vs Trailer from Claire Nolan on Vimeo.

Show Details

From the writer of Unladylike a Grrls Guide to Wrestling (Unbound, 2019) and cult cabaret sensation I Need to Cher (CPT, The Space, VFD) comes a show about parenting like no other.

Who would win in a battle between Peppa Pigg and a child’s imagination? Can the optimism of an eco-warrior mother stand up to the double threat of post-natal depression and the patriarchy?

Using dance, interviews, monologue and a cast of the best wrestlers in London, Mummy Vs is a bold kick to the face of outdated views on what a parent should be.

Being a parent and a wrestler are not dissimilar. The pay is bad. Your body hurts. No matter how hard you try, the rest of the world thinks your efforts are often ridiculous. Set against the backdrop of lockdown Britain, Mummy Vs is the personal account of Bandenburg’s experiences of raising a baby in lockdown. As well as raising awareness through interviews and stories from the front line of raising the next generation, the show hopes to show the brilliant resilience of parents in a way that is impossible to ignore.

This is an experimental, work in progress show combining performance art and live wrestling to bring colour and noise to the monotony of raising children – making it clear that lockdown has given the UK a chance to change how it see’s parenting forever.


Company Information

Written, produced and performed by Heather Bandenburg
Movement and Wrestling Coach Thomas Dawkins (alias Cara Noir – The National Theatre, Jacksons’ Lane)
Dramaturg Rebecca Biscuit (Sh!t Theatre)
Dramaturg and choreographer Claire Heafford (Sadlers Wells, Jacksons Lane, CARNESKY)
Production Manager Kady Howey-Nunn (China Plate Theatre, Old Red Lion)
Wrestlers Paloma Davis (Burning Hearts); Olivia Lajwii (Pro Wrestling Eve); Beau Sapsford (Lucha Britannia); Lee Alderman (Triple L); Hannah Lawless (Drag Wrestling); Rhia O’Reilly (Pro Wrestling:Eve); Rhonda Pownall (Triple L); Daisy Mayhem (Burning Hearts); CJ Abamu (Lucha Britannia); Claire Heafford (Lucha Britannia); Michael Reece (Lucha Britannia).
Production Manager Kady Howey-Nunn (China Plate, Old Red Lion)
Supported by Arts Council England and Guildhall School of Music and Drama

About the Artist

“Her writing is a reminder why I fell in love with wrestling to begin with.” Mick Foley
“If you’re looking for a shot of hope at a seemingly dreadful time, I urge you to dive into such artwork.” A Younger Theatre
“Beautiful, shambolic and proud.” Time Out London

Heather Bandenburg is a writer and performance artist who specialises in making life affirming, personal, funny work about her obsessions – currently, Cher, wrestling and being a parent. She trained as a wrestler with Lucha Britannia from 2012 onwards, performing across London at monthly sold out shows for venues such as York Hall and the Tobacco Docks. From 2016 onwards she began to write about feminist politics within wrestling for a mainstream audience (the Guardian, DIVA, the Independent); and in 2019 she published her first book on the subject, Unladylike, A Grrls Guide to Wrestling (Unbound) to critical acclaim, particularly within the international wrestling community.

Taking her feminist interpretation of the traditionally masculine form in to the cabaret circuit; Heather began to develop ways of using choreographed violence to retell and question tropes in pop culture for non-wrestling audiences. In 2018 she founded cabaret night I Need to Cher, part long-form TED talk, part queer homecoming; entirely about the life of the pop icon Cher. The show has gone from strength to strength with sold out performances at both theatre (Camden People’s Theatre, Latitude, The Space) and club settings (Resistance Gallery, VFD, Old Nuns’ Head). In 2019 she became an arts council funded artist and has since worked on combining her unique, personal brand of story-telling with her wrestling skills.

‘Mummy Vs’ is Heather’s first ‘non Cher’ work made for the theatre stage. This is a work in progress show, made despite the ongoing pandemic restrictions on both rehearsing and wrestling.

© 2023 Stanley Arts Charity No: 1155680