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Expectations - Pleasance Theatre (Review)


Review by Shanna Schreuder

DISGUISED by a veil of humour and snappy game-show entertainment, Expectations (now plying at Islington’s Pleasance Theatre) will pull at your heartstrings as it has an honest message about pregnancy.

A new play written by Emma Deakin, who also plays the part of Amanda, the production begins with a quick audience interaction exercise in the form of a prize draw. The winner gets a Bravissimo voucher and the losers are left empty-handed. This not only works to highlight that life is a game of chance, but also introduces us to the hosts and contestants of the game show.

The first couple, Richard (Kane Bixley) and Amanda (Emma Deakin), have endured three miscarriages and are desperate to have a baby. Couple number two, Paul (David Eaton) and Scarlett (Natalie Ann Jamieson), are flatmates, friends and both attracted to men, but are committed to having a baby together as a result of Scarlett having “one last fuck” with her ex-partner.

The hosts of the show, Troy (John Fitzpatrick) and Carrie (Amie Taylor), with their vicious smiles and incompetent score tallying torture the contestants for their own amusement. In between charades and guess-that-tune, we get to know the two couples more intimately. Their hopes and dreams are laid bare and we learn that having a baby isn’t all that easy.

Jamieson brings the humour with her excellent delivery of lines such as “I can never get the pee in the cup”, while Eaton’s portrayal of her gay best friend is also a hoot.

Deakin and Bixley, as the in-love couple, have a genuine chemistry that’s essential to the play, while Fitzpatrick and Taylor are mesmerising and beautifully scary.

Expectations is a smart, entertaining piece with a hard-hitting message that’ll get you talking about a subject that you may never have thought about.

Find out more

Expectations at The Pleasance Theatre (Islington)
From November 9 – 24, 2013
6pm, 7:45pm
Tickets: £12
Box Office: 020 7609 1800