Pure Fluke Theatre bring their new production Blocked to the Brighton Fringe 2017 – a searing dissection of the dangerous functions of humour in a new play about the silence society imposes on the infertile and how one woman, despite achieving fame and success, cannot bear to not bear a child.
We meet a comedienne at the top her game. Her audacious routine challenges women’s bovine desire to have children – she advocates abortion, because of overpopulation. She is exposed as an unreliable narrator as she unwittingly reveals she has been trying for years and admits to the traumas of failed IVF treatment and the hurtful flippancy of the fertile world, and her tight comic act descends into a squirm-inducing meltdown, yet retains the high octane comedy till the bitter end. Dropped by her agent/husband for her furious tirade, she ends up playing at low rent dives – but realises nobody is listening.
In the event of tragic life events like cancer or death, there is a grieving period and the loss is acknowledged publicly, allowing the griever to move on. Infertility is a constant rollercoaster of hope and disappointment over many years, causing severe anguish for those who spend all their time and money on treatment, which doesn’t work for the majority. The silently infertile rarely receive adequate support or help, making it difficult to function in a society which reveres children and marks social occasions with family celebrations.