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Donors review at Space on the Mile, Edinburgh – ‘interesting moral questions’

Megan Lloyd Jones and Ben LaMontagne-Schenck in Donors Megan Lloyd Jones and Ben LaMontagne-Schenck in Donors
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Set in a fertility clinic, Donors takes a brief look at the emotional fallout when an older woman strikes a deal with a younger man. Linda is a widow who is not ready to commit to a relationship but desperately wants a child. When the clinic provides an unsatisfactory donor, she chances upon Roy, the sensitive, good-looking receptionist and makes him a proposition. Nicholas Contreras’ new play casts a fresh perspective on an old subject and in the process throws up some interesting moral questions along the way.

Roy is unprepared for the feelings he develops for Linda and in turn, Linda is ruthless in her rejection of him as anything other than a donor. Contreras deftly balances the gentle comedy that permeates the narrative with painful episodes of rejection, self-hatred and loss. There are injudicious short cuts taken with the plot, however, that do a disservice to both the characters and situations. The author has a knack for accessible dialogue but seems nervous about exploring themes at length.

The actors have developed a simple staging incorporating Ken and Barbie dolls for the more intimate scenes, but it’s the awkward chemistry between Megan Lloyd-Jones as Linda and LaMontagne-Schenck as the vulnerable Roy that bring this play to life.

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Verdict
Interesting themes are exposed but not explored in much detail in Nicholas Contreras’ new play
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