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Making inspiring theatre for families, uniting creativity and imagination
"Stuff and Nonsense make the world a better place." - Chris Chibnall (Broadchurch, Doctor Who)
Stuff and Nonsense Theatre Company
2018-02-26T10:00:30+00:00
"Stuff and Nonsense make the world a better place." - Chris Chibnall (Broadchurch, Doctor Who)
"Can’t wait to see other performances. Sorry to say you're stuck with us now!!" ★★★★★ Audience member on The Gingerbread Man
Stuff and Nonsense Theatre Company
2018-02-26T10:11:54+00:00
"Can’t wait to see other performances. Sorry to say you're stuck with us now!!" ★★★★★ Audience member on The Gingerbread Man
"Outstanding children's theatre." - ★★★★★ Audience member on The Enormous Turnip
Stuff and Nonsense Theatre Company
2018-02-26T10:05:09+00:00
"Outstanding children's theatre." - ★★★★★ Audience member on The Enormous Turnip
"Enchants the child in every adult" The Stage on 3 Little Pigs
Stuff and Nonsense Theatre Company
2018-02-26T10:11:41+00:00
"Enchants the child in every adult" The Stage on 3 Little Pigs
"A fabulous production, so cleverly put together!" ★★★★★ Audience member on The Gingerbread Man
Stuff and Nonsense Theatre Company
2018-02-26T10:09:48+00:00
"A fabulous production, so cleverly put together!" ★★★★★ Audience member on The Gingerbread Man
"A must see for the whole family" - ★★★★★ Audience member on The Emperor's New Clothes
Stuff and Nonsense Theatre Company
2018-02-26T10:09:23+00:00
"A must see for the whole family" - ★★★★★ Audience member on The Emperor's New Clothes
"One of the most delightful ways to while away 50 minutes" The Stage on 3 Little Pigs
Stuff and Nonsense Theatre Company
2018-02-26T10:11:30+00:00
"One of the most delightful ways to while away 50 minutes" The Stage on 3 Little Pigs
"A perfect introduction to theatre… absorbing and accessible" Plymouth Herald
Stuff and Nonsense Theatre Company
2018-02-26T10:10:40+00:00
"A perfect introduction to theatre… absorbing and accessible" Plymouth Herald
"They've done it again - a simple tale, enchantingly told." - The Stage
Stuff and Nonsense Theatre Company
2018-02-26T10:09:02+00:00
"They've done it again - a simple tale, enchantingly told." - The Stage
"Wow wow wow! These productions are amazing! So funny, clever, totally entertaining" ★★★★★ Audience member on The Emperor's New Clothes
Stuff and Nonsense Theatre Company
2018-02-26T10:10:17+00:00
"Wow wow wow! These productions are amazing! So funny, clever, totally entertaining" ★★★★★ Audience member on The Emperor's New Clothes
"Huge smiles all round, we haven’t stopped talking about it since!" ★★★★★ Audience member on The Gingerbread Man
Stuff and Nonsense Theatre Company
2018-02-26T10:10:03+00:00
"Huge smiles all round, we haven’t stopped talking about it since!" ★★★★★ Audience member on The Gingerbread Man
"Puppetry, live music and good old-fashioned charm are sprouting up left, right and centre" The Stage on The Enormous Turnip
Stuff and Nonsense Theatre Company
2018-02-26T10:11:09+00:00
"Puppetry, live music and good old-fashioned charm are sprouting up left, right and centre" The Stage on The Enormous Turnip
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Stuff and Nonsense Theatre Company

Working theatre mum

Currently I am on a train from York to London with my eight month old son. I was asked to write a blog back in November about working for Stuff and Nonsense as a working theatre mum and the incredible support they’ve shown in enabling me to get back to work. It’s now February. Needless to say, being a mum and working leaves little time for the extras.

Brain jumble, racing, pacing, changing bums, breast feeding, run, dropped the blanket, feed, sleep, wake, feed, sleep, wake. Play. Feed. Sleep…change…bum, brain, boobs. Brain, brum, broobies…it’s all a jumble. Play and play and play and play…broob a jumble and bain a pain…

But we are here and I am doing it. I am a mum, I am an actor, I am a theatre maker and creator. I am me, a working theatre mum!

When I told Stuff and Nonsense I was pregnant I was worried at first I’d be told I wouldn’t be able to do the contract. But the opposite happened. They said; “CONGRATULATIONS, yay another Stuff and Nonsense baby!”Working theatre mum, Maria Gray, smushing Gareth Price-Baghurst in the face with bread dough whilst he plays the guitar in The Adventures of The Little Red Hen.

My fellow actor and friend on the tour was delighted that we’d get to do future tours with a baby! The company were so supportive throughout. We put extra measures in place in case we needed to change things. A new costume was made to adapt to the growing bump. We rehearsed with another actor from the company to be on standby in case I couldn’t continue. With pregnancy, birth and babies anything can happen.

I didn’t once feel any pressure to leave earlier than I wanted, or to stay on the tour longer than I felt comfortable. It so happened I felt well and fit enough to work on stage right up until 34 weeks.

Upon my return back into the show I was given full support in being able to bring my baby on tour with me, along with a babysitter. (Either my husband or one of the wonderful grandparents). Where possible they’ve payed or at least contributed to an extra room. They’ve communicated with the theatres in advance to say that there will be a baby on tour…it’s been brilliant. Of course being a working theatre mum has its moments, especially when my baby has decided that he doesn’t need sleep!

The company and the people who work for Stuff and Nonsense are all very supportive and positive towards working parents. Since being back on the tour of The Adventures of the Little Red Hen, we’ve been to Wales, Switzerland and Slough. That’s right, we all got on a plane and did some international touring.

What would make this whole experience of touring with a family is some extra money. The company, as I’ve said, is helping where they can. But what they can’t do right now is pay any extra for the person coming on tour with me to help look after the baby. So I do lose money as I have to pay expenses and food for the person travelling with me. If it’s my husband, he of course loses out on work. It can be a very tricky balance. I receive no additional maternity pay, as a freelancer, I had so many months of statutory maternity pay but that has ended. More needs to be done in our sector to help companies like Stuff and Nonsense support its staff and performers.

I am very grateful for being a part of such a fantastic, supportive, inclusive and creative team, and I hope that Stuff and Nonsense are able to continue this support for parents to come…

Next up we are on tour to the coast, Oxfordshire, Manchester and more…

And as if on queue, the baby has woken up so I shall wrap this up for now and just end with a huge hug for all those working theatre mum’s (and dad’s) out there. Breathe. We’ve

got this and you’re amazing!

Maria Gray – Actor currently performing in The Adventures of the Little Red Hen

Maria Gray - Performer for Stuff and Nonsense Theatre Company

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