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Agatha | Theatre 503

Why is wanting children the norm? The default? ‘Agatha’, written by and starring Florence Howard as the title character, is a mind opening and validating conversation about society’s expectations of women’s reproductive choices.

Aggy and Ben (Trieve Blackwood-Cambridge) are a couple who are deeply in love and want nothing more than to spend the rest of their life together. What happens when they realise that they have disagreeing thoughts on the idea of having their own kids one day? Aggy is dead set against having them, whilst Ben dreams of expanding his close-knit family. Aggy’s deep, contemplative face encourages you to genuinely consider her viewpoint as you do not doubt her being serious. Yet, you can also sympathise with Ben’s sweet longing to have a child he can call his own. ‘Agatha’ exemplifies what a good, honest, and open discussion should look like. Despite being understandably heated at points, both Aggy and Ben listen to each other’s perspectives and do not immediately revert to shutting each other down. It’s a nice change in comparison to the dramas we usually hear about in our own lives. I admire the respect the couple have for each other and their willingness to try to see the other’s perspective as they prioritise their relationship. I found the casual deep chats intertwined with the playful holiday planning a great juxtaposition. It shows that ‘big life decisions’ don’t have to seem too major if you don’t want them to be, whilst still acknowledging their importance.

Not only intrinsic reasoning for wanting or not wanting a child was raised, but also extrinsic. Ideas surrounding inherited trauma or that it is environmentally irresponsible to have a child was sensitively discussed. Also, positives of both sides of the argument were sincerely considered. Overall, it was a real and raw conversation that was in a sense educational to the audience, without it feeling like a lecture. I was truly engrossed in this thought-provoking theatre piece. Aggy’s bold statement of ‘I am not broken’ came across subtly powerful. I loved the cleverly designed set (Carly Brownbridge) with its 3D effect. Versatile with hidden coves for props too. Combined with Chuma Emembolu’s lighting design, the stage space in itself was enticing. ‘Agatha’ is produced to create a perfect opportunity to learn, reflect, and empathise. Agatha runs at Theatre 503 until the 15th July. For more tickets and information, you can follow the link here.


{AD | gifted} Written by Carly (@stageychaos) | Photography by Marshal Stay


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