BATS Theatre (Out-Of-Site) Cnr Cuba & Dixon, Wellington

16/09/2014 - 20/09/2014

Production Details

Chloe shouldn’t have any problem getting pregnant. She’s done her OE, married a nice boy, bought a house and is now down to three coffees a day. But somehow it just isn’t going to plan. Now Chloe is TTC with the help of her FS, while watching her BMI and hoping to maybe get IVF. 

Based on the blog posts of a Wellington woman, this comedy will take you along with Chloe as she deals with misconceptions about missed conceptions – both her own, and those of others.

(This is a new production following a development season in February 2014.)

Bats Theatre (Out of Site), 80 Cuba Street (entrance on Dixon Street), Wellington
16 – 20 September 2014 at 06:30pm

Rosaleen Moxey: Actor
Chennoah Walford: Actor
Amy Griffin-Browne: Actor
Alida Steemson: Actor 

Shannon Friday: Assistant Director/Dramaturg
Katerina Schmidt: Producer
Julia Campbell: Publicity
Dasha Fedchuk: Stage Manager
Emma Robinson: Set and Lighting Design
David Lawrence: Sound Design
Kaly Newman: Props and Costume Assistant

Entertaining and informative

Review by John Smythe 17th Sep 2014

Lively, insightful, informative ‘theatre-in-education’ for adults, Mis{s}Conception has come a long way since its development season in the Fringe. 

Not that its primary purpose is didactic. It’s more about sharing the experience of a woman attempting to conceive through In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF), comparing and contrasting it with other women who range from hyper-empathetic to downright insensitive.

Co-writer Rosaleen Moxey reprises the central role of Chloe, from age 25 to 28, and Chenonoah Walford, Amy Griffin-Browne and Alida Steemson (all new to the play), manifest the other roles. All are filtered through Chloe’s wary, trepidatious and sometimes defensively judgemental viewpoint, allowing for larger-than-life caricatures which nevertheless, for the most part, are grounded in truth.

The wonderfully New Agey Rain (Griffin-Browne) facilitates our Fertility Awareness session, teaching us how to read our cervical mucus and identify Peak Day. Chole then finds an online Forum – frequented by the always super keen to help Amy1980 (Steemson), gum-chewing bogan QueenPink (Walford) and quietly desperate AmandaHopes (Griffin-Browne) – and kicks off her own ‘MaybeBaby’ Vlog to track her undulating journey towards pregnancy, or not …

Her job in a bookshop brings her into contact with a proudly pregnant yet anxious customer (Walford), her Aunty Ruth and partner Jules, just back from Thailand (Griffin-Browne and Walford), and Megan (Griffin-Browne), an old school friend who volunteers in the Third World and is hyper-judgemental about First World selfishness.

Intercut with these encounters, and the Vlogging, are visits to Fertility Futures, presided over by a Specialist (Steemson) whose many arms reference an Indian fertility goddess. And as the pressure builds – despite endless exhortations to “relax!!” – Chloe dreams she is a contestant in Who Wants to be a Fertillionaire: a bizarre showbiz high point

Emma Robinson’s set comprises well-crafted screen frames for the online chats, a bookshelf for the bookshop, a contained clutter of medical paraphernalia for Fertility Futures and blood red trappings for the game show sequence. Apart from the live tinkling bookshop bell, the sound design by David Lawrence enhances the scenes with appropriate sonic textures.

Director Ania Upstill (also co-author) and her Assistant Director Shannon Friday (also the Dramaturg) have overseen a tight, entertaining and informative show that all women will relate to and men – especially those aspiring to paternity – need to see. Upstill’s programme note speaks of its value to her in understanding what her own mother went through to have her and her sister – so really it’s a show for everyone.


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