Director: Nir Paldi and George Mann
Reviewer: Andrea Allen
To have children, or to not have children. That is the question Ad Infinitum confront inNo Kids, a no-holds-barred, devastatingly brilliant two-hander about a same-sex couple confronting the ethical, environmental and self-sacrificing implications one faces considering raising a child in the 21stcentury. Performed and devised by Ad Infinitum co-founders and real-life couple Nir Paldi and George Mann, No Kids is a sparkling addition to the company’s existing portfolio of hard-hitting and hilarious performances.
With the BBC currently under fire for debating the ‘morality’ of LGBT lessons in schools, this production is timely to say the least. For those who’ve experienced this effervescent delight of a show, there’s arguably a (potentially far more interesting) debate over whether an albeit slightly censored version of the piece should become essential viewing for secondary school children.
It’s worth noting that the couple’s homosexuality doesn’t occupy central stage, the show transcends sexuality, as Paldi himself says “this isn’t just another fucking ‘coming out’ story. You could make the show about a heterosexual couple and the same emotions and topics would need to be confronted. No Kids places a depth charger into the brain of anyone who’s ever even contemplated parenthood and gives a vivid, intricately detailed and lurid itinerary of the emotions, hopes, fears and dreams that splatter out, gore and all.
Straight, gay, future parent, child-free, parent, surrogate, foster carer, anyone. No Kids speaks to the wildest fantasies and the darkest nightmares that universally erupt when contemplating having children. Will my parenting styles go viral when I inevitably launch a pioneering parenting vlog? Will my child grow up to be a bully and an abuser? Will they be a genius? Can I ethically resolve myself with the knowledge that having a child will impact on the earth’s carbon levels.
You could continue almost indefinitely. Slicing off ten minutes would make this show perfection, but that’s nitpicking in its finest form. How the company pack quite so much content into 75 minutes with minimal repetition is nothing short of remarkable. And representing such a divisive issue in a manner that speaks to all is an admirable achievement.
No kids? Lots of kids? Hundreds of kids? It doesn’t matter, if you get a chance, see this show.
Reviewed on 1 April 2019 | Image: Alex Brenner