A tale of Love, Grief and Turkey Basting.
Turkey is Frankie’s debut play and inspired by true events. The play is performed at The Hope Theatre, an awesome and intimate space above The Hope and Anchor pub in Islington.
This theatre only has a capacity of 50 so booking in advance is definitely recommended. We’ve previously been to The Hope Theatre before to see Her Aching Heart, which was a great performance that utilised the space in a traditional format. Turkey placed the stage in the middle of the room and so the audience surrounded the play.
A pleasure to watch, funny and well-written – it certainly didn’t feel like it was 70 minutes… I felt wrapped up in the story and was torn between disliking Madeline (played by Peyvand Sadeghian) for her actions, or feeling sorry for her as she was being driven by the deep urge to be a mother and carry and baby. Toni (played by Harriet Green) portrayed the challenges of juggling career and partner, and being swept along by a partner - which I'm sure happens fairly often in all relationships - not just with lesbians!!
Highlighting some of the key struggles and considering having a child as a lesbian couple – including the fact that heterosexual couples accidentally get pregnant and celebrate the fact, whilst agreeing to get through it; whereas with lesbians often there is much dilemma around the finances, the method, the security – with one woman not as driven by the hormones as the other – the decision can take longer and be much more complex.
It was great to see a relevant and current storyline. Having literally just finished The My Future Family Show last weekend, references to The London Sperm Bank and seeing the lengths a woman will go to in order to have a baby to satisfy the maternal urge – I can say that this was indeed a realistic portrayal.
There were a few references to what might be deemed classic lesbian couple moments such as ‘a meal plan discussion in the supermarket’, the challenges over past relationships that still hang over the relationship, and balancing personal life with work.
My favourite line was definitely one that everyone will understand as Michael (Cameron Robertson) is discussing where to go for brunch with Madeline:
Two of the most commonly used phrases in London are definitely 'I know a great place to go for brunch' and 'Is there wifi?'. Actually no, 'What is the wifi code?' – you don’t even ask if they have it anymore!"
I cannot recommend this play too highly, it is entertaining, insightful, meaningful and educational. Definitely one to catch before it closes on 14 October 2017.
Madeline wants a baby, so a baby she will have. It doesn’t matter that she is in a relationship with a woman, or that they can’t afford the high private clinic fees, she’ll go about getting this child whichever way she can. Together with her partner, the selfless, kind, stable Toni the two women explore all the options available to them but whenMadeline gets excited about one possibility in particular alarm bells are raised for Toni.
Across London a lonely, not quite yet ‘old’ older man is attempting to finish his novel (who is he kidding, start his novel) that he’s been working on for fifteen years. Michael has had children, three of them. His girls grew up and had children of their own, his son Ben never did, Ben’s death causing a pain in Michael that would dull but never subside. When Madeline, like a whirlwind, arrives back in Michael’s life after twelve years she comes with her own solution to the grief they both feel, not that she will let him know.
Now the Nuclear Family is no longer considered the norm, how far can Madeline go to get the babyshe so desires? And does it really matter who she has this baby with? People are manipulated, games are played and hearts ultimately shattered in this tale of one woman’s longing for a child.
Turkey is on between 26 September and 14 October (no shows on Sundays or Mondays)
- Performance time: 7.45pm
- Tickets: £15/£12
- Box office: 0333 666 3366
(booking fees apply, fees for telephone sales will be higher)
Book online: http://www.thehopetheatre.com/productions/turkey/
About Frankie Meredith
Turkey is the debut full length play for writer Frankie Meredith and was directed by Niall Phillips. She has completed the Lyric Hammersmith Young Writer’s Programme which led to a her writing a number of shorts that have been produced and performed at Southwark Playhouse, Old Red Lian and New Diorama Theatres. In 2015 she was accepted on the Soho Theatre Young Writers Lab where the script for Turkey was developed. Frankie is also currently editing a web series ‘Becoming Danish’ which she wrote and directed.
About The Hope Theatre
The award winning Hope Theatre is a place for audiences and companies to explore BIG ideas. We nurture and develop new producing models, working with exciting companies to present a mix of new writing, lost gems from well-known writers, re-polished classics and innovatively staged musicals. We are the little theatre with big ideas!
Although The Hope Theatre receives no public subsidy, it was the first Off West End venue to open with a house agreement with Equity, the UK’s largest performers union, to ensure a legal wage for all actors, stage managers and box office staff working at the theatre