Over scrabble, Jenni and David discuss their excitement about meeting their ‘perfect’ baby; then receive the news that the pregnancy is high-risk. “Is the baby going to be okay?” … “Am I going to be okay?” … “Are we going to be okay?” We watch as their relationship is stretched to its limits, effectively interspersed with recordings of true accounts from people who have tested positive for fetal anomalies. What is the right decision? No one has any idea.
This dramatic irony almost makes the happiest scenes the most unbearable
Alfereti is an incredibly clever writer. Having the plot flit between the innocent scrabble scene, and post-news chaos means that the story is all the more painful for us, with dramatic irony almost making the happiest scenes the most unbearable. She and Tabrizi, however, though by no means weak, are not strong enough as a cast to satisfy the piece’s significant emotional and psychological demands. Somehow their relationship is not quite believable; at times their scrabble session seems more like a first date than a relaxed game at home between two people who are in a long, serious relationship. Expressions of intimacy come across light and unconvincing amongst the tense, serious subject matter.
This play could, and should, find a way to be heartbreaking. The quick transitions between scenes, with simple costume additions and the movement of two chairs, are smooth rather than distracting - all of the different aspects of the show successfully flow together. Though the casting isn’t ideal for this particular piece, the show as a whole is certainly moving and enjoyable - unless enjoyable is not quite the correct word. Thought provoking? What would I do in their situation? What would you do? You might just change your mind.