Home » Edinburgh Fringe » Jenny Bede: The First Pregnant Woman in the World

Jenny Bede: The First Pregnant Woman in the World

At a surface level, Jenny Bede makes no attempt to explain why she’s called her show The First Pregnant Woman in the World – she just doubles down on it. But it’s clear, watching and listening to her, what she’s on about. There isn’t an experience comparable to childbirth and raising a child doesn’t exactly come with an instruction manual that tells parents precisely what to do in the event of – well, anything. And even the general advice meted out to first-time parents isn’t always useful: Bede’s baby doesn’t sleep very much, so Bede herself doesn’t sleep very much. But hey, she’s sleeping when the baby sleeps.

Jenny Bede - Copyright Matt Stronge.
Jenny Bede – Copyright Matt Stronge.

There are songs included as part of the show, presented in a broad range of genres. An utterly sublime number was about a “white woman with a buggy”, which some might think is somewhat exaggerated. Not so. From personal experience, everything she sings about is absolutely true: they are the very first to complain if they can’t get their buggy through a narrow pavement, but if anyone else can’t get through because they are in the way, they just have to deal with it, especially if they are having a chat with fellow buggy owners. “Four prams wide, access denied,” she sings. What I’ve called ‘the buggy brigade’ in my own thoughts for many years is not just a figment of my imagination – it actually exists, and a bona fide mother sang an entire song about it at the Edinburgh Fringe. Not being a woman, I will never have the experiences of pregnancy and childbirth, so it is particularly encouraging to discover an affirmation of my own outlook.

There are other topics of conversation for Bede, such as the American actress and singer Mandy Moore apparently being underrated – I’m not sure I agree. Moore’s awards aren’t listed on her Wikipedia page, but that’s because there’s a separate Wikipedia page called ‘List of awards and nominations received by Mandy Moore’, and she has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I couldn’t quite follow why she was so ‘angry’ about McDonald’s not serving their breakfast menu after a certain time – isn’t she up at 5:00am or even earlier in any event on account of her baby not sleeping much?

Speaking truth to power comes in the form of criticism of Downing Street parties that took place whilst she (and, despite the show’s title, other new mothers) had to give birth unaccompanied by anyone other than hospital staff, ostensibly due to public health restrictions. All things considered, this is a surprisingly relatable show with a broad appeal.

4 stars

Review by Chris Omaweng

You won’t have had children yet, as Jenny is the first person to ever go through this particular ordeal, but you might be keen to learn a little something about this incredible new process called pregnancy from award-winning musical comedian and future nation’s sweetheart, Jenny Bede.

Jenny will navigate the entire gamut of human emotions, from despair all the way through to despair, as she jokes, sings and (at last, justifiably) Mum-dances her experiences to life in this new hour.


Related News & Reviews Past & Present

  1. Casting Announced for World Première Image of an Unknown Young Woman
    Artistic Director of the Gate Theatre, Christopher Haydon, today announces the cast for his production of the world première of Elinor Cook’s Image…
  2. One Woman Show at Ambassadors Theatre | Review
    Liz Kingsman king of comedy. Or Queen Liz comedy Queen. Either way, she is genuinely funny. And I mean funny, laugh-out-loud funny. This…
  3. Dinosaur World at Richmond Theatre – Review
    This production is a real treat for little dinosaur lovers. There is not much of a story to be told here, other than…
  4. Martin Shaw and Jenny Seagrove reunite for Alone Together
    Bill Kenwright, together with his Theatre Royal Windsor, are delighted to announce that Judge John Deed stars Martin Shaw and Jenny Seagrove will…
  5. Review of Songs For a New World at The Space London
    “It’s about one moment…” One moment is all it takes to change your life. One moment, one second, one decision and life can…


Scroll to Top