B!RTH: Choices – Project Arts Centre – Dublin Fringe Festival – Review

B!RTH: Choices – Project Arts Centre – Dublin Fringe Festival – Review

Dates Sep 16-17 @ 18:15 – Tickets €12/ €10 conc.
Duration 45 mins – Venue: Project Arts Centre Space Upstairs

This production has an unusual origin. The play is one of seven that were commissioned “from across the globe to explore health inequality through their country’s approach to childbirth”. The work comes from a wide range of locations such as the USA, Syria, Kenya, India, China, Brazil and the UK. They are all written by female playwrights and take on the theme of childbirth in their native land, in some sense. The plays are available to download for free for educational or charitable organisations that wish to use them. This piece by Stacey Gregg is the UK’s contribution.

After a short introduction explaining the series of plays and what they aim to achieve, Stacey Gregg arrived on stage from her seat in the front row of the audience. It was a solo performance and she stood behind a podium with a microphone for the most part, but she occasionally left it behind to come forward and talk directly to the audience. There were two chairs on stage along with the podium, although these were never used! They may have represented the two main characters in the stories.

There were two interwoven stories told. In the first, a young woman from Belfast has ‘fun and silly’ sex with a man she doesn’t really know and ends up pregnant and has to travel to deal with the consequences. The other story is of a woman who wants to get pregnant, but is struggling to do so and turns to science for help.

The two stories are delivered in an off-hand style and with a lot of humour. Stacey Gregg seems relaxed and confident on stage, drawing the best of the humour out of the work. This is not an attempt to raise your conscience or to demand you agree with a particular point of view. They are simply two stories and you can make of them what you will. The stories are clearly an attempt to open a dialogue on the subject. The collection of these seven plays should make a fascinating and rewarding insight into childbirth in its various forms around the globe.

Presented in partnership with the Oglesby Charitable Trust and the Centre for Maternal and Newborn Health at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.

Find out more about the B!RTH project here.

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