Actor Stephen Mangan has revealed what it’s like to be pregnant for his new stage role, reports BBC News.
The actor, best known for his role in Green Wing, dons a latex belly and breasts to play a man about to give birth in Joe Penhall’s comedy Birthday, which opens at the Royal Court theatre this week.
Stephen plays Ed, who decideds to spare his wife the pain of labour and, with the aid of hormone therapy and a fake womb, give birth to their second child.
Stephen admits that his costume and prosthetic belly look quite shocking.
“If the way I look in this play is the future of male pregnancy, then God help us all,” Stephen said.
The actor, who has two children with his wife Louise Delamere, said the pregnant body suit is heavy to wear, but that he can’t complain to his wife.
“It’s hard to complain about it to my wife. I come home and say the thing weighs nearly two stone, and I just get wry looks. I don’t have to wear it for nine months – it’s just 90 minutes a day,” he said.
The actor said childbirth is a difficult subject matter and is rarely addressed in stage productions.
“I can’t think of another play about this subject. And how many songs are written about childbirth? Has anyone done the Placenta Blues?” Stephen said.
Stephen’s preparation for the role included meeting heavily-pregnant women, midwives and registrars. He said he also took inspiration from Channel 4 TV series One Born Every Minute.
“I’m not the sort of person that cries at telly, but when that baby comes out I’m in tears every single time. It takes me back to that moment when my own children were born.”
Birthday by Joe Penhall is showing at the Royal Court theatre in London from 22nd June to 4th August.