Multi-nar­ra­tive play about preg­nancy

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By JESS LEE



tricky Re­pro­duc­tion busi­ness.

Some women strug­gle to have chil­dren, while oth­ers are des­per­ately un­happy to be preg­nant.

The 2014 Adam Play Award-win­ning drama Seed, fol­lows four women as they try to get preg­nant, stay preg­nant or be­come un­preg­nant.

The multi-nar­ra­tive play was writ­ten by Pt Cheva­lier res­i­dent Elis­a­beth Eas­ther.

‘‘Breed­ing is so per­sonal,’’ she says. ‘‘I can be re­ally good friends with peo­ple and still not know if they don’t have chil­dren by choice – and I’m cer­tainly not go­ing to ask them – it’s to­tally cool if that’s their choice.’’

Eas­ther penned the play last year but it’s an idea that started ‘‘ger­mi­nat­ing’’ in her head in her 30s.

‘‘Ev­ery­body I knew was ei­ther try­ing to get preg­nant, or be­ing preg­nant when they didn’t want to be preg­nant and oth­ers who said it’s not for them.’’

The char­ac­ters have been in­spired by friends, women Eas­ther knows and her­self, she says.

‘‘There’s a part of me in all of them. I want peo­ple to go away from this play and have a real good chat – it’s start­ing this di­a­logue be­cause peo­ple can see them­selves in these char­ac­ters.’’

The play al­lows for four strong fe­male leads.

‘‘Men of­ten seem to dom­i­nate the story. As an ac­tor a lot of the time you’ll look at a cast­ing list and go ‘oh awe­some, a whole bunch of men, a cou­ple of young women and a grand­mother’,’’ she says.

‘‘You don’t get to do cool stuff – it’s ‘here’s the tea tray’ or you’re nag­ging or some­thing, but these women are ac­tu­ally com­pletely in charge of the story.’’

Ac­tress Alex El­lis plays a sin­gle woman named Vir­ginia, a mid­wife in her late-30s who is des­per­ate for a child.

‘‘I’m sur­rounded by all of my friends who have kids and I don’t have any, and so it is there all the time and it’s the same for Vir­ginia – she’s watch­ing peo­ple have ba­bies all the time,’’ El­lis says.

Seed shows at The Base­ment un­til Satur­day.

Baby talk: Writer Elis­a­beth Eas­ther and ac­tress Alex El­lis team up for poignant play Seed at The Base­ment theatre.

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