Eggsistentialism

Joanne Ryan’s ode to motherhood, Eggsistentialism, is emotionally poignant and amusingly informative. Alongside Joanne’s musings about whether or not she is ready to have a child, this show seamlessly integrates the history of Irish contraception laws.

Eggsistentialism is a truly heartbreaking performance by a woman who refuses to let others make her choice for her.

Joanne respectfully laments what women before her have gone through in Ireland, not having a choice about motherhood. The other side of social progress is her endless frustration that she now has too many choices. The choice to have a child or not, adopt or not, freeze her eggs or not, and so on. Having a child at 30 years old and not much savings has left Joanne frozen on stage, obsessing over parenting quizzes and Google searches. There is just too much information!

And on top of all this, Joanne has her own mother’s choice to confront. When her mother had drunken breakup sex and Joanne was accidentally conceived, the doctors advised her to abort. Instead, Joanne’s mother decided to be a single mother.

In the middle of all of this, Joanne meets a man named Rob on Tinder, and Rob says he is ready to have kids. Still undecided, Joanne asks Rob if he would have kids if the roles were reversed. What if he had to give up his job, body and social life to a child? Rob admits he would not be ready for that.

This meandering one-woman show is effortlessly accented by Neil O'Driscoll’s comical projections. The projections swiftly plop Joanne down in her apartment, on the street, on the internet and right smack dab in the middle of 1920s Ireland.

Eggsistentialism is a truly heartbreaking performance by a woman who refuses to let others make her choice for her. To motherhood or to not motherhood?  

Reviews by Blair Simmons

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Performances

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The Blurb

Looking down the barrel of her final fertile years, one modern woman goes on a comical quest to uncover the ifs, hows and crucially the whys of reproducing her genes. Thinking outside the box in an effort to decide what to do with her own, eh, box, no stone is left unturned in this journey of extremes. Family, fertility experts, fortune tellers, philosophers, daytime radio and the dark recesses of the internet; all are consulted as she tries to figure out – should making a life for oneself involve making another?

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