Within The Glass, Tarragon Theatre

With a bun in the oven, Nicola Correia-Damude as Linda takes a deep breath at the dinner table with friendly onlookers wondering what her next move will be in Tarragon Theatre’s deliciously unpredictable staging of ‘Within The Glass.’

SURROGATE CONTRACTS CHANGE EVERYTHING

Have you ever wanted something so badly that you were left psychologically paralyzed when the reality set it that it wasn’t—and never was—going to happen? If not, Paul Braunstein as Scott puts the hopelessness of the moment into crystal clear perspective: ‘We can’t get what we want. None of us can.’

Anna Chatteron’s playful and engaging drama about a fertility clinic error is conceived from the risk people take when rolling nature’s dice. While it’s impossible to tell if this is beginners luck for a first time In Vitro Fertilization candidate or the opposite for a five time failure of the treatment, she boldly goes one step further in our age of bio ethics by asking the question ‘What is a mother?’

Michael (Rick Roberts) and Darah (Philippa Domville) are the walking on egg shell dinner hosts to Scott (Paul Braunstein) and his gestating wife, Linda (Nicola Correia-Damude), whom they have not previously met. The primary objective of this special get together is to secure Linda’s buy-in to hand over a baby that legally does not belong to her.

Everyone has the best intentions given the situation they are confronted with. Yet try as they will, no consensus seems to be on the horizon until finally Linda states her altered position on the matter: “I’ll do it. It’s a gift. It’s my gift to you.”

Hugs are exchanged, feet are massaged and pseudo family photos are captured before a verbal commitment comes crashing down due to the fine print of a surrogate contract.

Paul Braunstein is concentrated amusement as a simple man who prefers not to beat around the bush which gives Rick Roberts free room to roam as a parental diplomat inspiring cooler heads to prevail. Despite residing at ‘opposite ends of the spectrum’ they share a common goal in the nightmarish narrative unfolding.

But when the fetal tug of war wages on Nicola Correia-Damude’s emotional meltdown is dramatic ecstasy until Philippa Domville cranks up the angry with a rebuttal that her character hopes will turn the amniotic tide.

Director Andrea Donaldson’s does a bang up job navigating through the story’s controlled chaos to give Within The Glass irresistible television sitcom appeal. This comically inviting tale is for baby makers of the past and fetus protectors of the future.

Review by Steven Berketo

 

WITHIN THE GLASS by Anna Chatterton January 6 – February 14, 2016 TARRAGON THEATRE 30 Bridgman Avenue, Toronto TICKETS $28.00 – $60 www.tarragontheatre.com 416-531-1827 CAST Paul Braunstein, Nicola Correia-Damude, Philippa Domville, Rick Roberts DIRECTOR Andrea Donaldson SET & COSTUME Julie Fox LIGHTING Rebecca Picherack SOUND DESIGN Mike Rinaldi

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