Deciding whether or not to have children is a difficult decision for anyone to take. As George and Nir are gay, they would need to adopt or find a surrogate mother. Wrapped up in a story about a relationship, about these two men’s relationships with their own fathers, is a collection of observations about the challenges involved in deciding to have a child. Trying to adopt is gruelling. Finding a surrogate mother is fraught with risk as the law continues to support maternal rights. And reconciling the yearning to continue your genes with the impact that having a child has on climate change (58 tonnes of carbon per person!) is another issue altogether.
But that makes the show sound didactic and this is anything but. Nir Paldi and George Mann do a wonderful job of establishing the strength of their relationship early on. We see their initial meeting (maybe) in a giant nightclub in Paris. We see the euphoria of their early courtship and then them settling into comfortable co-habitation and luxurious lazy irritation. The storytelling is brilliantly propelled with a perky Madonna soundtrack. Their Vogue is a total treat.
Ad Infinitum’s signature style smashes physical theatre together with verbatim theatre and the result is a colourful, funny, rambunctious romp through possibly one of the most difficult decisions any couple will ever make. With polish and panache, Paldi and Mann envisage a disaster-riddled future life with their accident prone child and conclude – temporarily anyway – that life might be simpler with just the two of them.
They don’t skirt the trickier topics. The challenge involved, even in today’s supposedly broad-minded society, with raising a child as a gay couple and coping with all of the prejudice and careless assumptions that can go with that. The child doesn’t get to choose that, they speculate, and so why should we?
Anna Orton‘s set features a rainbow of clothes ranging in size from baby to teen, nicely symbolising the scope of their decision. A versatile collection of tables becomes by turn,a bed, interview table, a mountain top, a catwalk and a refuge when their son goes rogue. The polished, imaginative choreography, neatly executed by these physically skilled performers, is a total treat.
This isn’t a new topic but Ad Infinitum serve it up with so much wit, flair, boisterous energy and poignant charm to more than make up for that. This is genuinely touching theatre with a conscience and a heart. And you can’t ask for more than that.