Jack Dome at The Pleasance Edinburgh

2nd August 2013

Published on What’s Peen Seen


An interesting story told in the wrong way. My Pregnant Brother at the Pleasance’s Jack Dome would almost definitely make a superb channel 4 Bodyshock documentary but as a one woman show you can’t help but feel the whole production is a little too revealing.

Joanna Nutter takes us on her emotional journey through the early 2000’s as her sister is finding her identity. Within minutes of introducing herself Nutter is explaining to us how her sibling (defined by the performer as an “awful word”) came home one day after having a vasectomy behind her mums back (a secret perhaps best kept between family and friends) and told her she wanted to be a boy.

As the story continues you can’t help but get slightly engrossed in a tale so out of the ordinary you can’t believe what you’re hearing. Nutter explains how her sister changes gender without too much of a struggle, but then falls in love with a man. This swift affair ends rather speedily but not without one complication – the transgender boy becoming pregnant.
Nutter leaves no stone unturned even choosing to describe in detail her siblings body as it lies on the hospital bed ready for a C-section. It is segments like this that become intrusive to an audience member as it feels like trespass to continue listening to this new mum’s personal struggle when she isn’t in the room to back up Nutter’s story. She is most definitely a great story teller and shows genuine warmth throughout her performance but the subject matter just does not suit her dramatic and at times comical personality.
I hope this show develops into a very successful documentary but it doesn’t feel like it has found it’s calling at the Edinburgh Fringe.
My Pregnant Brother runs until August 26th at the Pleasance Jack Dome.

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Laura Elands

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