Suffed at the Brockley Jack

STUFFED
by Lucy Joy Russell & Holly McFarlane
Tuesday 6 to Saturday 17 March 2018

A friend of mine has written a play running at the Brockley Jack in March, which aims to provoke a debate about infertility and IVF. The Stuffed team explains:

"There is a growing fertility crisis in the UK. Around 1 in 7 heterosexual couples, or 3.5 million people will have difficulty conceiving.  Since the 1970s male sperm counts are down nearly 60% across the western world and 20% of women born in the same decade reached 45 without having children.

"It’s not clear exactly what’s to blame. 20-30% of infertility cases are due to male factors, 20-35% are due to female, and 25-40% are due to combined problems in both parts. Up to 20% of cases remain 'unexplained'. But to try and cope, couples are increasingly looking for professional help to conceive and today 1 in 50 children born in the UK are the result of IVF, with many more receiving other fertility treatments.

"NICE guidelines suggest three IVF cycles for couples struggling with infertility. Yet few NHS trusts can afford to offer it and so people increasingly turn to the private sector – often with little understanding that expensive doesn’t mean effective. According to NICE, across the age range, 65-80% of IVF cycles will fail. These can cost anywhere from £3,000 to £15,000 and more.

"Yet discussion on the topic, while no longer taboo, is fraught with anxiety and superstition. People on both sides still don’t know how to talk about it openly. Those with children to those without, Doctors to patients, and people on the journey to each other. In a first for the topic in UK theatre, ‘STUFFED’ is a new comedy about IVF. It aims to demystify some of the challenges and offer a new perspective on an issue that is only growing.

"Playwright Lucy Russell said, “With Mother’s Day just around the corner, the world can often feel very much focussed on people having children. But the new reality is that most people will know someone who has difficulty conceiving - even if they haven't told them yet. Unfortunately, they may know nothing of the experience itself or be unsure how to ask. By showing there is a funny side to IVF we want to open up a conversation, not just about the trials and tribulations of IVF itself, but also of futures that don’t have children at their centre”

"Based on a true story, STUFFED the play opens at the Jack Studio theatre on Tuesday 6 March and there will be a post-show discussion involving the Fertility Network on Tuesday 13 March."

To buy tickets, click here.

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