Home » London Theatre Reviews » The Egg Rumour at The Old Red Lion Theatre | Review

The Egg Rumour at The Old Red Lion Theatre | Review

The Egg RumourThe issue of egg freezing is controversial; offered by the likes of Apple and Facebook, amongst other companies, it promises to protect a woman’s fertility so she can concentrate on her career in her 20s and 30s. The Egg Rumour by Ellamae Cieslik, transferred to the Old Red Lion from the Camden fringe earlier this month, explores such an option through the eyes of Iva, a young woman at a small(ish) firm that is pressurised to accept a contract offering her a promotion to the desirable ‘seventh floor’ in return for freezing her eggs. The unspoken rule is that Iva, whose partner (also an employee) pitched the egg freezing idea to her boss, will not have children for several years, in return for this promotion.

The idea seems absurd; whilst no ‘contract’ is being written up in most companies, however, it appears that this is the purpose of egg freezing – to keep women working for longer, throughout their most fertile years, to benefit employers. It’s enough to make one’s blood boil, and alas this musical romp around this issue seemed to use such material for entertainment, instead of the more sensitive debate and exploration that such a topic demands. That’s not to say that some of the material and performances are not funny; the gaggle of gals at the office and Iva’s encounter with her geeky doctor are so absurd as to be hilarious, despite my confusion as to why Iva should suddenly be so horny as to desire this unlikely candidate.

Perhaps the idea is to hold up certain features of both individuals and the situation as absurd; the F.F.F. (Fun, Fertility and Freezing, the organisation that gets women drunk before encouraging them to sign their egg-freezing contract), complete with a thrusting, grinding female leader, is ridiculous, encouraging ‘social freezing’ to girls who look in their early 20s. Bossman is, of course, male, and seemingly insensitive to the needs of his workforce, only hiring women in top positions if they are lesbians, and thinking only about his accounts. I am utterly dumbfounded as to how anyone with such low regard for female workers could become a leader, given the importance of soft skills and emotional intelligence in today’s business world, unless via nepotism.

The undertaking of such a challenge – discussing a topic as divisive as egg freezing – is brave; The Egg Rumour, with its simple set and larger than life characters, does provide some laughs and raises awareness of this (fairly subversive) topic. However, with such a young cast, a simple music score and a plethora of unrelatable characters, it is difficult to truly connect with the issue, nor the main character, Iva (who should absolutely kick her boyfriend and job to the kerb). A change in the male-oriented employment system is most desperately needed; I’m just not sure The Egg Rumour is the play to do it.

2 gold stars

Review by Amy Stow

A musical comedy that explores new work perk for women, Egg Freezing! Ladies, you can now work your way up the ladder, find the right man and put off having kids for a few years. It really is that simple. Or is it? The Egg Rumour follows a small company who gives Iva, a young woman, an incredible promotion to the top. Unsure of what is right for her, and with constant pressures of day to day life, she takes it.

We are soon taken into Iva’s imagination, meeting her Fella, Bossman and fellow Office Gal workers and don’t forget a spectacle from the Party Leader of the F.F.F (fun, fertility and freezing), selling the idea of just how great ‘social freeze’ can be.

With technology moving at a faster pace than our biological clocks are even prepared for, can Iva fit all of her eggs in one basket? Only the Egg Whisperer can tell.

Director: Michael Powell
Musical Director: Tomi Ogbaro
Movement: Rebecca Dale
Producer/writer: Ellamae Cieslik
Cast: Chris Mawson, Molly Hemsley, Samantha Stone, Jacob Coleman, Sophie Hannah Reader and Ellamae Cieslik
Monday 20th August 2018


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