When you hear a baby crying towards the end of Satinder Chohan's new play, it carries more poignancy than one might expect. The baby is a woman called Aditi's, except it isn't, because Aditi is also known as Surrogate 32, one of a small female army who quite literally make a living in Doctor Gupta's clinic in Gujarat, India's international centre of surrogacy traffic. Into this world steps Eve, an English woman desperate for a child by her late husband. For all three women who occupy Katie Posner's radiant looking production, the situation which has brought them together offers them lifelines of very different kinds. When surrogacy is banned mid-way through Eve's treatment, they are galvanised into action.
Everyone is on the make in Chohan's play, a co-production between Tamasha and the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry in association with Pilot Theatre. As Gina Isaac's Eve attempts to communicate with Ulrika Krishnamurti's Aditi through Google Translate, there is more than a whiff of colonialist condescension in the air. Aditi and Doctor Gupta can more than hold their own in the survival stakes, with the latter invested with a steely pragmatism by Syreeta Kumar.
Lydia Denno's set of moveable screens seems to throb with energy as they are wrapped around the women. This is especially the case when bathed with Prema Mehta's scarlet lighting while Arun Ghosh's powerful spiritual jazz-based score washes over it. At the heart of the play, driven as it is with the pain of need on several counts, is how a woman's right to choose is complicated by being commodified in a world where money matters most of all.
The Herald, February 13th 2017