After being seen in New York at Primary Stages in 2001, Carl Djerassi's An Immaculate Misconception is to have its London premiere at the Bridewell Theatre, off Fleet Street. Conception is the story of twin births. The first is of a boy called Adam. The second is that of a much more difficult child; a process known as ICSI - contraception in a test tube.
Djerassi's play takes place in the explosive arena of reproductive technology. Genetics, cloning and assisted reproduction have created a brave new world where sex is no longer a vital part of reproduction.
The play involves no Michael Crichton-like bending of the scientific truth; the technology for creating life without intercourse does exist. ICSI involves one sperm, no genitals, no mess – or is there?
Highly innovative, focused and literary the play is explored scientific advances that are rapidly becoming part of everyday life rather than science fiction. An Immaculate Conception is not just about the means of birth, however - it is also about the meaning of parenthood.
Both these issues were also, in a different way, addressed by Caryl Churchill's award-winning play, A Number, recently at the Royal Court.
-- By TheatreNow