As you enter the intimate 50 seat theatre you’re greeted with an open set. Madeline – Peyvand Sadeghian, and Toni – Harriet Green are sleeping on the stage. There isn’t much to the staging, just four double boxes in each corner but nothing else was needed. The journey through cheating, happiness, betrayal and manipulation starts immediately with it being revealed Madeline has just cheated on her boyfriend with Toni – but she’s not a lesbian! The play deals with their relationship and how they want to have a baby together, but do they both really want the baby? Who do you ask to be a sperm donor though? Apparently, it’s best not to start with Toni’s brother as that isn’t the done thing and you especially don’t ask him in front of their dad Michael – Cameron Robertson. Cue the next idea, Madeline’s dead ex-boyfriend’s dad. But how do you go about asking him? If you’re Madeline you don’t – just manipulate him into bed instead. Does Madeline become the mum she so desperately wants to be? Does Michael find out he has been manipulated? Does Toni realise Madeline’s cheating spots haven’t changed? You’ll have to go and see to find out!
Sadeghian, Green and Robertson all play their characters superbly. All three were believable and an absolute joy to watch. There was a chemistry between them that gives you the feeling you’re in safe hands with them. Sadeghian’s manipulative and confused Madeline was excellent. Green’s kind-hearted and loving Toni made me want to just give her a big hug! Robertson delivered the not exactly old “older man” wonderfully. The grief for his son was palpable and you just wanted to give another hug. Not so much during the jubilant celebratory dad dancing but we will gloss over that.
Meredith’s first full-length play doesn’t disappoint. It is exceptionally well written giving humour, sadness, anger and betrayal with a fluidity that just sweeps you along. The ease with which Meredith can have the audience laughing and then a minute later feeling so sorry for two characters and like you want to slap the third is to be commended. This is the first of Meredith’s work I have seen but I will be keeping an eye out for future works.
Should you go and see it? A resounding yes!
Review by Lee Cogger
A tale of Love, Grief and Turkey Basting.
“You’re manipulative. You’re beautiful and manipulative but it won’t last.”
Madeline is used to getting what she wants. When she decides to have a baby with her girlfriend she won’t let
anything as trivial as two pairs of ovaries or the idea of a father stand in her way.
Big decisions are made over the ripe and ready avocados in Aldi but catastrophic ones are made in the kitchen. Will Madeline’s desire for motherhood consume her to the detriment of her relationship and sanity? Now the Nuclear Family is no longer considered the norm, how far can Madeline go to get the baby she so desires? And does it really
matter who she has this baby with? People are manipulated, games are played and hearts ultimately shattered in this tale of one woman’s longing for a child.
Cast: Victoria Fox, Harriet Green, Cameron Robertson
Producer Lonesome Schoolboy Productions
Director Niall Phillips
Lighting Designer Hannah Cordell
Music Mercy Phillips
Casting Sammy Gardiner
Author: FRANKIE MEREDITH
Director: NIALL PHILLIPS
by Frankie Meredith
The Hope Theatre
207 Upper Street
London N1 1RL
Sept 26 – Oct 14 2017