Maybe, Probably - Old Red Lion Theatre
Tell me everything will be okay
Life is near enough perfect for Kate and Guy - they’ve been together for over a decade and honestly, things are pretty sweet. So, will the prospect of a baby topple the finely-tuned balance in their lives? With assistance from fellow parent friends, they attempt to navigate the rollercoaster of pregnancy and all the unexpected fears that accompany it. For Kate and Guy having a child was not a certainty but they’ve decided to stop not trying and all of a sudden, they are two nearly forty-year-olds making preparations to welcome a miniature version of themselves into their home.
Eric Henry Sanders’s Maybe, Probably is a familiar tale of two people striving to do their best when so much is out of their control. Sanders injects next-level amounts of quick-witted and dry humour into the script with much of it landing successfully. The production is much more like an American sitcom pilot than it is a play - complete with rapid pacing, quick jokes and the receptive audience on press night forming a worthy laugh track. The play however, struggles to completely settle and risks becoming a repetitive tennis rally of jokes where character and plot play second fiddle. With two-dimensional characters and an underwhelming plot that brings little new insight to the table, the humour of the production can only take it so far. If reworked a little more balance would be worthwhile, though by the end Sanders does manage to uncover some of the potential heart embedded in this play.
The cast sticks well to the brief and each delivers copious amounts of comicness as they perform Sanders’s script. Christy Meyer (Kate) and Cory English (Guy) lead the way with their great back-and-forth rapport - a highlight being their discussion of potential baby names. Supporting them are Maria Teresa Creasey and Lance C Fuller as Zoey and Hugh respectively, who also bring wittiness and playfulness to their performances. As an ensemble, they are effective and do all that is asked of them.
As already mentioned the saving grace of this play is the overflowing levels of fun and dry jokes throughout, but this has come at a cost of depth and nuance. I am sure that any parent or prospective parent can relate massively to the quirks of this production but whilst in this current state Maybe, Probably achieves plenty of laughter, it would be far better suited as a sitcom that has time to grow characters in between the jokes instead of feeling like a rushed afterthought.
Running till 15 October - Tickets
Photography - Rah Petherbridge