Edinburgh Fringe 2018
No Kids explores the personal journey that real-life couple Nir and George embarked upon when they asked the question: as a gay couple, should we go out of our way to have children? Gender-bending musical cabaret and verbatim theatre marry to conceive a distinctly queer piece that asks: should we be making more babies in an increasingly overpopulated world? And is our society truly open to the idea of two dads?
After a personal introduction to the show, real life couple and co-artistic directors of Ad Infinitum Nir Paldi and George Mann re-enact the time they first met, in Paris. Then they are living together and deciding on whether to have children. Given the personalities and performing background of Nir and George they tell their story through acting, physical storytelling, humour and a song or two. Add to this their very vivid imaginations and suddenly, the main theme takes on a life of its own!
Both Nir and George are accomplished actors and they use the large stage space as their playground. Dancing, spinning, leaping and excited about what might be if they can become a true family. While there is a total freedom of thought, logic, movement and imagination in each part of the story of this eighty-minute show, it is tautly choreographed and beautifully structured.
Each of the men seem to have different ideas about everything to do with this topic and then they run into roadblocks and conflicts about the process of having children. This is a very modern story and their build up to each part of how their lives might change is told with exuberance, sensitivity and thoughtfulness through excellent performances. They make plans upon plans and if another character is needed in the story, no problem, Nir or George become the other characters seamlessly interacting with clarity of character and dialogue.
No issue is ignored, having a child is a complicated matter and a lot has to be considered before taking the plunge. Nir and George are thorough in this respect and their fast dialogue and movement around the space throughout this original piece is visual and compelling.
Examples of the several topics that arise and are woven into the piece are discrimination, surrogacy and prejudice. Nir and George have experienced these before and are doing so again. They deal with these questions and many more with facts, arguments, dramatic repartee, humour – and from a gay point of view.
The performance I saw was signed by BSL Interpreter Jo Ross, who was innovatively integrated into the show by her placement around the stage, sometimes within the scenes.
Nir and George move, cajole, flirt, argue and debate every aspect of growing their family, or not, and do it believably and with depth of emotion and meaning.
All this builds to an intense and exciting arc of the story performed vibrantly and viscerally from start to finish. These are electric performances and the creative staging, imaginative storytelling, the highs, lows, humour – and everything in between – is explosive, dynamic and tender. A Must See Show!