Re:Production is a story that brings to life the hard choices faced by women in modern times. "Karen has always wanted to be a scientist. And Tom has always wanted to be a Dad" is the simple premise that immediately sets the scene for the rest of the show.
Karen and Tom are a quintessential modern-day couple. They fall in love while at university, and move in together; eventually they get married and life goes on. Up to this point, their life mirrors that of the society around them. But then, there is a divergence from the norm: Karen works as a scientist, in the field of IVF, offering hope to millions of couples everywhere. Her work is her whole life and she has worked as hard as anyone to get to where she is.
But she is not sure that she wants to be a mother herself. Once Tom brings this up as a serious conversation, cracks being to appear in their relationship, and Karen is faced with the choice that must be made by millions of women worldwide.
It's quite a straightforward storyline, but it's made interesting through the use of props and clever mime. Some of the mime, set to music, is almost like watching a film and is well executed by both Jessie Lawrence and Darryl Green. The script is tight, and use of repetition makes the endless pain in the lives of the couple all the more heart-wrenching.
The juggling of work and home is well-depicted, as is the burden that Tom is willing to shoulder. In today’s world, men are stepping up at home, but there will always be a biological part of child-rearing that will be the woman’s domain; Karen’s fears start to take shape during the production, and while this show doesn’t cover new ground, it finishes off at a perfect point – no half-hopes or euphemisms.
This show deserves to be seen and felt. If you have ever known a passionate, ambitious young woman, you will instantly find yourself rooting for Karen, while you also sympathise with Tom. Great show.