Reviewed by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move
“I’ve been to hell. Have you?”
Hell and back. That’s what making baby magic is sometimes about. For Jenny, trying to get Fertile, is just the worst!
Any woman who’s been through this on any level will tell you how psychologically, conceiving a child grips you like a vice. It’s not just that the clock is ticking. It’s the overwhelming pressure from family, hyper-advice from friends, expectations from co-workers, linear outcomes thinking by employers, even doctors who guilt you regularly into getting it done as early as possible. Or on the other hand, wielding moral high-ground at you like a sharp object if you’re over 40, insisting all the reasons why you shouldn’t do it. Hormones, IVF, sex on schedule, mood swings, anxiety. Shame if it’s not instantaneous. Shame if it’s not natural. Shame if it’s adoption. It’s the rabbit hole of the devaluation of a woman ‘in the nicest possible way.’
Fringe veteran Heather Dowling takes us on a barely breathing journey of the attempt at conception. Filled with hope, tears, disappointments, and private spiritual dialogs. None so heartfelt though as when her husband, after almost 2 years of their shared intense struggle, finally confesses, that there’s just as much pressure for a guy too. It’s the pause moment that makes Jenny finally realize, maybe, just maybe, having a baby isn’t the most important thing.
This is to date, Dowling’s best put together world-premiere solo-show. Simply good writing right out of the gate and truly masterful character work.
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