Playwright Ben Ockrent has probably scored a first with his new comedy – it’s not every day that you see the entire contents of a home artificial insemination kit laid out, piece by piece, on the stage. Married lesbian couple Andrea (Tamzin Outhwaite’s single-minded author of self-help books) and Caroline (Angela Griffin’s family lawyer) aren’t taking any chances – no turkey baster improvisation for them when they decide to put all their efforts into making a baby. They’ve just moved into a new house which needs doing up and now they want a child to complete their happy family. And who better to provide that last vital missing ingredient than Andrea’s likeable if rather aimless brother, Jimmy? That way the infant is guaranteed to have genes from both mums.
But nature doesn’t always go according to plan – even with Jimmy and girlfriend Sharon (increasingly sympathetic Jemima Rooper) conveniently ensconced on the top floor for easy access, and, as the months pass, their baby-making endeavours take over the lives of all four.
There are some serious touches as well as some lovely comic moments – thanks especially to Nicholas Burns’ ineffectual Jimmy, suffering from a surfeit of “too much information” in an all-female household, and to the cover versions of popular songs, sung in Swedish, which separate the scenes. But enjoyable though it is, Tamara Harvey’s well-acted production can’t disguise the fact that we’re basically in sit-com territory and Ockrent never delves deeply into the issues he raises.
Where: St James, 21 Palace Street, SW1E 5JA
When: Ends 4 October
Cost: £15.00 – £49.50
Image supplied. Photo credit: Manuel Harlan