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Maybe, Probably (Susan Elkin reviews)

Venue: The Old Red Lion Theatre. 418 St John Street, London EC1V 4NJ

Credits: By Eric Henry Sanders. Directed by Lydia Parker. Presented by Over Here Theatre Company.

Maybe, Probably

3 stars

Photo: Rah Petherbridge Photography

Structured episodically like a sharply written TV sit com, Eric Henry Sanders’  four-hander is a witty exploration of 30-something first pregnancy.

Kate (Christie Meyer) wins a horse race bet which brings her to the realisation that she would like a baby with her somewhat reluctant husband of twelve years, Guy (Cory English). Quite soon a pregnancy starts and brings with it a great deal of pretty plausible worry, angst and agonising. Meanwhile their friends Hugh (Lance C Fuller) and Zoe (Maria Teresa Creasey), who also happens to be Kate’s boss, have a two year old child, Lola, who horrifies, intrigues and fascinates Kate and Guy. Horse racing runs thematically through the play but doesn’t add much.



There are some good scenes, mostly duologues, all of them funny as well as occasionally poignant. Kate and Zoe assembling a to-do/to-buy list for Kate is a pleasing example of two actors working responsively together. Meyer has a way of communicating real depth of feeling with just a look or a dip of her head. The scene in which all four of them queue for the cinema in bitter cold is convincing. And I liked the contrast between the intense, truthful Guy and the rather more relaxed self accepting Hugh, who is currently a stay-at-home father.

Maybe, Probably has done well in the USA and is staged here with an American cast so it feels very natural. Although it is set in New York the issues it ranges over are both timeless and universal so we identify with each character and they’re all pretty well defined.  It sits happily in the bijoux intimacy of the Old Red Lion, with audience on two sides too.

The play could, however, be more streamlined. As it is we get a brief semi- black out and scurrying about with props at the end of each short scene which  feels oddly old fashioned and underdeveloped.  And, bizarrely, on press night a small but enthusiastically supportive audience applauded after each little episode. Thus the piece feels fragmented.

First published by Sardines:

Author information
Susan Elkin Susan Elkin is an education journalist, author and former secondary teacher of English. She was Education and Training Editor at The Stage from 2005 - 2016
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