Award-winning writer Katie Sayer’s scintillating comedy shines and sparkles with wit and insight, captivating and delighting the audience for every moment of its 50 minutes.
Agnes Pethers’ direction reflects the verbal verve and pace of the script. While there’s not much to see by way of a set, there’s much to listen out for, and in the pyrotechnics to follow, look away and you miss it.
18 years after a marriage has ended is a long time to be apart, but when your daughter goes into labour – that’s when parenting really counts, no matter what has transpired in the interim. Both waiting anxiously for news, separated by a plastic chair, his n’ hers copies of the current Financial Times, and a world of recriminations and regret, the unadorned setting of an NHS hospital waiting room leaves the awkward ex-couple nowhere to hide.
Manfully distracting himself with a porn mag, behind the day’s headlines, potential grandfather Chris (bemused Tom Fisher) has prepared himself admirably with facts (birthing pools, sieves and the like), but not for the bouleversant encounter with his ex-wife Anya (sardonic Dorothy McDowell) who arrives with prior knowledge of the sex of their daughter Kia’s baby, the intended name - Gary - and the unassailable assumption that the name of the baby’s father is a fiction.
All this taunting and one-up-man-ship whips Chris into a flat spin: so much so, he lets slip his regret at a short lived liason with Kelly – Anya’s love rival crisply dismissed as fake tan and ‘an embarrassing social media presence.’ Ouch. Chris feels the pain – but so too does Anya.
Chris’ mother’s regards elicit a tender response from Anya in appreciation of her mother-in-law’s well-chosen scarfs at Christmas, or the time they spent as a family in Italy, before infidelity broke up the marriage.
Anya’s success as a lawyer in the City trumps Chris’ less glittering career: poor prospects blamed on his History of Art degree. But as the two thrust and parry in a series of witty exchanges they begin to reclaim common ground, and with it, shared memories reform into an authentic channel of communication.When the birth is announced, it is the most natural thing in the world that the extended family should connect, and as they disappear at a pace, to see their daughter and new grandson, their hands touch, and enmesh once more. After all, the birth of a baby can work miracles: particularly one called Gary.