"How d'you like your eggs?"
by remotegoat reviewer for remotegoat on 03/09/16

...fertilised or un-fertilised? Think carefully!
That seems to be the overall message of ‘Eggs’, an interesting new ‘work in progress from Rachel Besser & Tree Shadow Theatre.
‘24 playlets. 31 characters. 6 actors.’ That’s an awful lot to keep track of for cast and audience alike!
The performance takes the form of a helter skelter series of short sketches - or playlets. These are not comedy sketches on the whole, tho’ there are flashes of humour: this is a serious subject and is treated as such. Most of these playlets take the form of mini dramas, even tragedies. A nuclear family is under strain as the father ogles his daughter’s teenage friend. A young mother’s baby is taken away in some kind of clinic. Teenage girls are by turn envious and insulting about their friend’s sexual exploits. A prospective mother reviews potential sperm donors. A young gay man makes his donor ‘audition’ video.
There are so many stories and characters squeezed into around 90 minutes that I am full of admiration for the cast - keeping track of all that action with such a high standard of performance is a real feet. they manage it far better than I did!
That is where, for me, Eggs suffered. There were just too many stories for me to really focus on the issues they presented, I also found it difficult to follow individual characters as they recur in different playlets. I know they reappeared, but often found them difficult to identify. Other playlets seem out of place and go nowhere; this was particularly true of an American girl who’s monologue seemed to me isolated and out of place amongst the rest, it seemed to me to have little to do with the central theme. I also had trouble deciphering the school-girl playlet - my obtuse male mind needed it to be explained by my female companion. In retrospect it makes perfect sense, and it did provide some comic relief (almost Vicky Pollard style) at the time.
As mentioned this is a work in progress and there was a Q&A held after the performance, audience feedback will be used to refine and develop the production. I very much regret that my companion and I were unable to stay for the Q&A and had to dash off only leaving some comments on post-it notes provided.
It will be extremely interesting to see how eggs evolves in future iterations. If it were up to me I’d suggest picking 3 or 4 stories to concentrate on and cut between them in the same way in a series of playlets: I think this would make the context easier to grasp and the central themes easier to concentrate on for a simple mind like mine. Some really distinctive identifiers for recurring characters (through items of dress, props, voice / accent, more use of names etc.) would also help the slower amongst us: which means me of course.
Overall, Eggs is a very well written and excellently performed production with great potential. In it’s current form, however, I found the meat of it difficult to get hold of - there were too many, too little chunks and not enough context. Having sad that I’ll very much look forward to seeing how it develops from here.

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