For a recent meeting, the MTC Ambassadors attended MTC’s The Waiting Room. MTC Ambassador, Luke Macaronas reviewed the production.
I’ve never really wanted children; after witnessing the cost, pain and heartache I seem to have caused my own parents, it seemed that undergoing the same experience would always be a bad idea. However, the MTC’s The Waiting Room left me thinking about birth, death and family from a completely different perspective.
Written by Kylie Trounson – the daughter of Alan Trounson, a pioneer of IVF research in Melbourne in the 1970’s – this play explored the varied experiences of those lives, touched by IVF. This sprawling and almost epic production managed to capture profound questions about what it meant, both socially and scientifically, to have the power to produce life. Almost simultaneously, as The Waiting Room drew me into a world of people grasping with eternal questions about the parameters of life and death, my grandfather was being admitted to intensive care. With his hopes of recovery quickly evaporating, this small stage brought to life the fears of those facing death; not upset by the prospect of the journey ahead, but of the needs and hopes of those left behind. In that moment, having children became so much more than a chore or a legacy. My Mum describes having my brother and me as the greatest thing she’s ever done, and finally I am beginning to understand: our children are the people with whom we share our lives, most intimately and vividly.
Trounson’s fiery writing was able to perfectly capture this relationship and other eternal and poignant questions about our place on the earth and the treasure of creating new life in a refreshing and modern, yet equally reflective, way that left the audience in tears. The raw performance of Sophie Ross brought an unequivocally Australian, and yet beautifully universal experience to the stage and the versatility of William McInnes and Belinda McClory brought a wealth of light and shade to this production.
More than a story of a scientific discovery, this play explored the experiences of people dealing with grief, loss and failure. As my own understanding of these themes came to a new point in my life, Trounson managed to perfectly construct that mirror of personal experience crucial to any writing, creating an evocative and ardent story.
Luke Macaronas is believed to be an MTC Ambassador, but still hasn’t filled out the appropriate paper work and so we have no means of contacting him or verifying his identity. Nonetheless, Luke – or the person claiming his name – has greatly enjoyed the Ambassador experience and, accepting the reality that he will never succeed as an actor (despite what he may tell himself), hopes to make a career of some sort in the arts.