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REVIEW: A New Life

Updated: Apr 26

Tron Theatre, Glasgow

29 September 2022


Kim Shepherd in a New Life

Robbie is a successful computer programmer and Jess is up for a promotion to Head Teacher. Then Jess discovers that she is pregnant.

It's fine, It’s just a baby.… how disruptive can that be?!

New musical drama A New Life by Sleeping Warrior Theatre Company and writer director Andy McGregor shines a light on some of the many challenges faced by new parents.

The audience have a birds eye view as the chaos unfolds and Jess (Kim Shepherd) and Robbie (Simon Donaldson)'s cosy lives derail.

Well, it's mainly Jess's life that is disrupted... And that unfairness IS addressed during the play.

The material is hard hitting and it doesn't shy away from highlighting that inequality, as well as (spoiler alert) postnatal depression and the strain that having a baby puts on a relationship.

Front and centre we witness the onslaught of noise and mess that comes with having a new born baby (Stephen Arden). Hats off to whomever had the genius idea to put the baby in tap shoes!! It really does slam home the message that these tiny humans can make a hell of a lot of noise.

Kim Shepherd, Simon Donaldson and Stephen Arden in A New Life. Photo: Tom Morozzo

Yes the subject matter is serious, but this play is absolutely chock full of Sleeping Warrior's trademark humour. It's hilarious!! The writing is so clever; We are laughing one moment and stunned into horrified silence the next.

The birth scene is genuinely one of the funniest things I have ever seen on stage. Awful, harrowing and funny? It shouldn't work. But it does.

Simon Donaldson is great as dad Robbie. And Stephen Arden is a sheer joy as the dancing baby. He's an absolute nightmare, but he really can dance!

Kim Shepherd and Simon Donaldson in A New Life. Photo: Tom Morozzo

Kim Shepherd gave an outstanding performance as Jess. She is hardly off the stage and goes through so many physical and emotional changes, it must take some amount of strength to play this role.

Kim was utterly believable, she has a crystal clear singing voice and she acted her socks off!

I am in awe. An incredible achievement.

This play is like nothing I've ever seen before. A brilliant and brave mix of serious themes, sharp comedy and musicality. Congratulations to all involved.

NB: The music playing whilst the audience take their seats is another spark of genius. A fitting playlist! Go early and soak it up.


[Review first posted on Instagram 30 September 2022]

📸 Production photos: Tom Morozzo

A New Life review - Sleeping Warrior Theatre Company, Andy McGregor, Glasgow Tron Theatre, 2022.

A New Life cast

Simon Donaldson

This magnificent theatre company and cast are also performing another show simultaneously: The superb Crocodile Rock! A musical set on Millport? Yes please!


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