A Child of Science


ISBN: 9781839043161
Author: By Gareth Farr
Publication Date: 13/06/2024
Publisher: Nick Hern Books
Extent: 120pp.
Availability: Available

SKU: BK3429 Categories: , , Tags: ,

‘One day this will work. One day we will gift two honest, decent, trusting volunteers a baby. I know this more than anything else in the world. I know it in my soul. We will do that.’

In 1978, three pioneering doctors changed the world of fertility as we know it. Supported by an army of immensely brave women from all over the UK, Patrick Steptoe, Robert Edwards and Jean Purdy achieved the impossible: they created human life in vitro.

Faced with fierce criticism and hostility, and hounded by the media for ‘playing God’, trials had to be kept largely under wraps. But the trio’s determination to give hope to the thousands of families struggling to conceive eventually led to the first ‘test-tube baby’ and the creation of IVF, a procedure which has since supported the birth of over twelve million babies worldwide.

Gareth Farr’s play A Child of Science is a fictionalised account of this true story of ambition and courage, based on extensive research and interviews with embryologists and fertility doctors, as well as those affected by and enabled by IVF. It was first performed at Bristol Old Vic in 2024, directed by Matthew Dunster.

‘Remarkable… a five-star play… compassionate and ingeniously crafted… handles genetic theory, medical policy and women’s lives, without ever feeling like a lecture… a script that moves between pathos, comedy and suspense, deftly evoking the hopes and heartbreaks intrinsic to the quest to start human life outside the womb… a gripping piece of theatrical storytelling’
The Times

‘Remarkable… a play that sensitively deals with what is clearly an emotive and important subject’

‘Inspiring… gripping… Sometimes theatre does a good deed when it simply tells a story that should be more widely known’

‘A powerful new work… Slick and emotive… draws audible sobs from the auditorium’

‘Devastating… a deeply moving hymn to all those who entrusted their hopes and their bodies to science’

‘Compelling… compassionate… the urgency of a thriller’
The Stage

‘A brilliantly written play… fascinating, insightful and engaging… a cinematic, episodic, fast paced narrative… explains the science in a clear and accessible way while still focusing on the personal stories behind it with power and emotion’
West End Best Friend

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