So it seems that three London fertility clinics have decided they’re going to take all their staff to London’s Park Theatre to see Gareth Farr’s brilliant new play The Quiet House. It might seem surprising – surely clinic staff know all they need to about IVF? – and yet what’s so great about the play is that it shows the side of IVF they don’t usually see.
The Quiet House is not about what goes on inside the clinic but about what happens at home during an IVF cycle. It’s about dealing with friends with babies, about balancing the demands of work, about doing the daily injections and managing the huge emotional highs and lows of a treatment cycle.
You don’t need a personal interest in fertility treatment or any professional knowledge to appreciate The Quiet House, but for those who work in clinics it is clear that this can be a beneficial learning experience as well as a deeply moving one.
I’ve been to see Gareth Farr’s play The Quiet House at the Park Theatre in London this evening about a couple going through fertility treatment. It’s the story of Jess and Dylan and their longing for a baby and it is one of the most moving portrayals of IVF I’ve ever seen.
It’s a long time since my last cycle, yet The Quiet House took me instantly spinning back to a place I will never forget. Michelle Bonnard is just extraordinary as Jess, and the relationship between her and her partner Dylan (Oliver Lansley) as they go through their treatment is so true to life. The drugs, the injections, the raw feelings, hopes and fears are all portrayed here in a compelling story and it’s the small details that are so spot on; the way Jess talks to her unborn child, the icy chill of seeing a single magpie…
The upstairs neighbour, Kim (Allyson Ava Brown) who is struggling with her small baby provides a poignant contrast, and Dylan’s boss Tony (Tom Walker) highlights the way fertility problems and treatment affect every aspect of your life. At one point, I had tears streaming down my face and was trying to wipe them away discretely when I realised that all around me people were wiping tears from their cheeks.
If you are in London over the next month, go and see The Quiet House which is on at the Park Theatre until July 9 – it’s emotional, it’s powerful and it’s an extraordinary play.