Billed as an hilarious and heartfelt comedy for those who are thinking of starting a family, have already done so, or just love babies, betting, and Brooklyn, Over Here Theatre Company’s five-star UK premiere of Eric Henry Sanders’ award-winning play Maybe, Probably continues at London’s Old Red Lion Theatre until 15 October 2022, directed by Lydia Parker.
KATE: What if we stop trying not to get pregnant?
GUY: We pull the goalie?
Kate and Guy have a pretty perfect life in New York, but would a baby make it even more perfect? If they don’t try soon, it may be too late. The problem is, babies are expensive, and messy, and then there’s the environmental impact. And look how having Lola has changed their friends Zoey and Hugh’s lives. Scary.
A month later Kate and Guy are pregnant, and Maybe, Probably follows their tribulations as they attempt the impossible task of controlling their current and future circumstances as parents. As Kate attempts to know more than her obstetrician, Guy tries to game the odds at the racetrack with Hugh.
Eric Henry Sanders began thinking about writing a play like Maybe, Probably when his wife became pregnant with their son and they were confronted not only with the knowledge that their lives would be irrevocably changed, but that they really knew nothing about parenting, pregnancy, or in what direction, good or bad, that change would occur.
Sanders says: “That time was fascinating and terrifying, and we soon realised that nothing we read or learned in the process would provide any of the security we were looking for. Our options were to cry or laugh, often at the same time.
“I loved rehearsing this play with our brilliant cast, as it put me back at that moment where all of our fears and expectations were so much on the surface. And what’s more, the play inevitably sparks conversation with cast, crew and audience members about their own experiences and hopes as parents or prospective parents.
“Even people who don’t have children or are uninterested in ever doing so have been able to empathise with the characters. The play taps into such a primal sense of ourselves as individuals and the joys and anxieties of what it means to be human.”
The cast of Maybe, Probably features Christy Meyer as Kate, Cory English as Guy, Lance C. Fuller as Hugh and Maria Teresa Creasey as Zoey.
Director Lydia Parker was particularly attracted to Eric Henry Sanders’ sparkling, fast-paced dialogue: “It’s so funny and the characters reminded me of those in the best of US sitcoms like Mad About You or Gilmore Girls, or even the shows of Aaron Sorkin, like The West Wing. It’s how real people talk who are intelligent and witty and like to make each other laugh.
“The other thing was the story of a couple going through pregnancy in Brooklyn. I am originally from New York City and this play just screamed New York at me. I had my kids when I was younger than these characters, so I may have had fewer worries, but both my daughters were born in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, down the road from Park Slope. I know this world well.
“It also brings back so many happy memories for me of the time when my husband and I were expecting. Three of the cast members are also parents so we spent time in rehearsals comparing notes on our experiences, which was very useful.”
Joining Parker in the creative team are set and costume designer Stella Backman, lighting designer Jonathan Chan, sound designer Michael Crean, stage manager Willow Weston and producer Antonia Georgieva.
Maybe, Probably is the winner of the Moondance International Film Festival for Best Stage Play and was named a finalist for the Reva Shiner Comedy Award. The play was developed in part through readings at the Goodman Theatre, the New Group, the Lark Playwright Development Center, New Century Theatre, and in workshops at The Drilling Company and the Florida Repertory Company.
Christy Meyer has worked extensively in both US and UK theatres. For the UK: Yellow Face (National Theatre), Yellow Face & Life Mater (Park Theatre), All My Sons (Apollo Theater), In a Forest Dark and Deep (Vaudeville Theatre) and Inca (Southwark Playhouse). In the US: God of Vengeance, Once in a Lifetime, Caligula, Polaroid Stories, Vassa Zheleznova (Williamstown Theatre Festival) and Where’s Annie also by Eric Henry Sanders (Hudson Stage Company).
Cory English’s theatre credits include Indecent (Menier Chocolate Factory), Sleepless in Seattle (Troubadour Theatre), Young Frankenstein (Broadway, US tour and Garrick), The Addams Family (Singapore), Kiss Me Kate (Kilworth House), She Loves Me (Menier Chocolate Factory), The Producers (Drury Lane Theatre and UK tour), Urinetown (Apollo and St James), Dream of Perfect Sleep (Finborough Theatre), Guys and Dolls (Piccadilly Theatre and Broadway), Comedy of Errors (Oxford Shakespeare Company), A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum, Hello, Dolly!, Damn Yankees, Home Play and Gypsy.
Lance C. Fuller is an award-winning and multiple award-nominated American actor. Previous stage work includes Angels in America, Measure for Measure, Around the World and Death of a Salesman.
Maria Teresa Creasey’s theatre credits include: Hostage Song (Finborough), The Antipodes (Globe), Three Sisters (Collisions), Our American Cousin (Finborough), Masha (Collisions/CDD/CPT), The Daily Plays (Squint) and The Possibilities (King’s Head).
Eric Henry Sanders’ many plays include Play With Time; Moving Water; Maybe, Probably; Reservoir; and The Heliopause. His writing has been produced and developed in theatres across the US and internationally, including the New Group (NY), Primary Stages (NY), Cherry Lane Alternative (NY), Company One (Boston), Goodman Theatre (Chicago), Victory Gardens Theatre (Chicago), Florida Repertory Theatre (Fort Myers), Union Theatre (London) and Theatre89 (Berlin).
Lydia Parker most recently directed Belvedere by Ana-Maria Bamberger at the Old Red Lion and The Actor’s Nightmare by Christopher Durang at the Park Theatre. Originally from New York, she is artistic director of Over Here Theatre Company which produced ObamAmerica (Theatre503), Our American Cousin and Dolphins and Sharks (Finborough Theatre) both of which she also directed. Other work includes Our Children Will Be Next (Theatre503), Superman and Me (Canal Café), Something There That’s Missing (Edinburgh Festival), Skinhead (Brockley Jack Studio), A Big Fridge and Other Plays by James Fritz (Hen and Chickens) and All I Need Is a F**k Buddy (Canal Café).
Antonia Georgieva is a creative producer with experience across theatre and media in the UK, the US, and Europe. She specialises in subversive new writing and adaptations that challenge the dominant narratives. She is particularly passionate about interdisciplinary performance that engages audiences in novel ways. Recent credits include: work.txt (Soho Theatre), Belvedere (Old Red Lion), The Last Sunset (immersive) and KITCHEN (immersive).
Maybe, Probably runs at the Old Red Lion Theatre, 418 Street John Street, London EC1V 4NJ until 15 October 2022. Performance times: Tuesday to Saturday at 7.45pm/matinees at 2pm on Saturdays and 6 and 13 October. Tickets: £19/15. The company welcomes parents with babies at the special matinees performances on 6 and 13 October. These performances will be relaxed and babies (aged a year and under) can accompany parents. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!