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Review: There or Here, at Park 90: Park Theatre

Engaging production about a couple’s quest to have a child moves between comic and dramatic swiftly and seamlessly

01 February, 2018 — By Catherine Usher

Ursula Mohan as Ellen in There or Here

THERE’S definitely a sense that something rather different is being attempted in Jennifer Maisel’s story about a couple going to great lengths to achieve their dream of having a child.

Anchoring the production is Lucy Fenton’s Robyn, who has survived cancer and is now pressing ahead with her ambition to become a mum – via any means necessary. Fenton’s Robyn is a strong and amiable character, while her husband Ajay (Chris Nayak) is equally confident but a little more low-key. They do communicate with each other but the recent traumas that they’ve experienced mean they find it easier to discuss their problems with strangers.

As the sympathetic ear in multiple scenarios, Rakhee Thakrar is impressive in her various roles. Her interactions with Robyn from a call centre are particularly poignant and, although a little contrived, the development of their friendship produces some sweet, rather moving scenes.

Directed by Vik Sivalingam, the production has a filmic quality to it, with dialogue at the forefront of proceedings, moving between comic and dramatic swiftly and seamlessly.

There is a smattering of rather earnest, unrealistic monologues and not all audience members will be on board with the path the couple have chosen in order to become parents, but ultimately this is a very engaging production.

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