Ed (Mangan) and Lisa (Dillon) are about to have a baby. Scarred by the birth of their first child, they decided to do things differently and this time round Ed is the one who’s pregnant. Will the birth be easier if the man is the one with child and will the female be able to provide the necessary comfort having gone through this all before?
Birthday examines both the light hearted and serious aspects of a man being pregnant and peppered throughout the comedy are moment of real depth as it delved into the anxiety and apprehension of all new parents. However I felt Penhall’s script works best when focused on the comedy, specifically Ed reactions to catheters, suppository’s and the firm handed African Midwife Joyce played by a very funny Llewella Gideon.
Stephen Mangan is brilliant as the neurotic, fearful and irrational Ed and director Roger Mitchell has crafted a slick and fluid production that brings Penhall’s script to life.
Birthday is an enjoyable exploration into childbirth as it depicts the effects on both the male and female psyches and regardless of gender its traumatic affects on all parties involved.
Birthday is running until the 4th August. For more info or to book tickets please visit http://www.royalcourttheatre.com/whats-on/birthday
Reviewed by Karla Williams