The story that divided society. The science that changed the world.
Belinda McClory, William McInnes and Greg Stone lead a talented cast in this powerful tale based on the pioneering IVF research that occurred right here in Melbourne in the late 1970s.
Kylie Trounson was a child when her father Emeritus Professor Alan Trounson made breakthrough after breakthrough in fertility research. It was 1970s Melbourne and society was divided: was he a hero? Or a mad scientist playing God? The controversy swirled so close to her, yet she was far too young to understand how much was at stake. But now she can see it plain: that when we speak about conception we speak of the most profound things, of family and faith, our lives and our mortality, and our uncertain place in Nature.
There was a world before IVF and a world after. Multi-layered and wide-ranging, The Waiting Room explores how they are not the same world. Created in collaboration with Naomi Edwards, the play received a rapturous response as part of the 2014 Cybec Electric play readings. Now Edwards makes her MTC mainstage directorial debut with this powerfully personal play, which grapples with the ordinary wonder of conceiving a child and the extraordinary heartbreak when you can’t.
Best availability: 12-27 June
FREE Panel Discussion
An MTC and Melbourne Conversations event
Wednesday 10 June
Join playwright Kylie Trounson, her father and IVF researcher Alan Trounson and eminent medical lawyer Loane Skene for a free panel discussion and deeply personal insight into the story behind the story of IVF. Learn more
Please note: Aaron Pedersen has withdrawn from The Waiting Room due to a film offer which has competing dates. The role of Alan will now be played by Greg Stone.
Cast & Crew
News & Reviews
A play which revels in life.
Transcendent and beautiful’
Affecting drama, wacky comedy and [an] exceptional cast.
An intrinsically Melbourne story.
Naomi Edwards is a formidable talent with a light touch, bold ideas and the courage to follow them through.
Doctor Trounson is not just a great thinker. He’s a can do scientist.
The cast themselves are uniformly brilliant, bringing the play from humour to heartbreak and back in the blink of an eye.
Extend Your Experience
There are many ways you can extend your theatre experience with MTC.
Playwright Kylie Trounson speaks to journalist Fiona Gruber about the process of writing The Waiting Room. To listen, click the podcast link on this page, or listen here
View our interactive timeline tracking the key IVF milestones; from the discovery of estrogen to world’s first IVF twins. View online
Monday 25 May is a Forum Night. Following this performance, ticket holders can hear the cast, creative team and director discuss the show. Please note, these evenings are very popular, so get in early.
Join playwright Kylie Trounson, her father and IVF researcher Alan Trounson and eminent medical lawyer Loane Skene on 10 June for a free panel discussion and deeply personal insight into the story behind the story of IVF. Learn more
Contains some coarse language, nudity and the use of herbal cigarettes.
This production will be audio described on 9 June (6.30pm) and 13 June (4pm, with tactile tour at 3pm) and captioned on 20 June (4pm). To learn more about these performances, email firstname.lastname@example.org