Telling Tales #stories #nationaltheatre #review

I’ve been suffering with a tooth issue which recently has been bugging me. And as with most aches in my life it emanated from the school of the absurd. I damaged my tooth biting on a baked potato skin. The dentist graced me with one of those looks that told me, in the one too many lines by his eyes that I would be part of his new dinner party repertoire even as he took an X-ray. I was dispatched to ingest pain relief (though the need for it was merely enhanced by his exploratory investigations – tell me why dentists take X-rays if they subsequently insist on percussively clattering said tooth with an unforgiving piece of steel?). And I hate taking tablets so I tend to eek them out, waiting until the discomfort is at the gripping distraction point before giving in.

Thus it was that, while taking a mouthful of ice cream during the interval of Stories, a new play in the Dorfman Theatre at the National complex that I forgot I needed to feed the cold umptiousness into the othe side of my mouth. The result? A jarring reminder and the sort of background jangle in my jaw that said, ‘yep, kiddo, that was dumb and now you’re going to suffer.’

And of course I had no tablets, not even one of those hairball saviours that sink to the botttom of my rucksack to join the little rubber doophies off earbuds, flaky dog treats, the inner workings of a self-unassembling biro and something that might once have been organic but now merely resembles a nano sized alien spleen.

All of which meant I would be clutching my jaw during the second half trying to minimise both moans and dribbles.

But it never happened. The play, set today and involving a recently single 39 year old woman desperate to have a child was funny, thought provoking, well written excellently cast and, most pertinently, engrossing. Without being preachy it explored all sort so of issues around how to chose a partner, what it’s like to be the offfpsorng of annonymised embryos, how moral is it to ask for someone’s sperm, how equal is the pain of childlessness between the sexes. It also brought home in rather clever ways that the essential feature of parenthood that holds whether you child is 9 or 39 is you want to be the analgesic. You can’t stop pain, be it physical from birth or increasingly social and psychological as children grow but you would do anything to take it away, ameliorate it. The woman at the centre of the play and her mother share a scene in which the mother describes her daughter’s life as a tragedy.

‘I don’t want my life to be a tragedy,’ laments the younger woman and you see her pain reflected and exponentillay increased in the mother ‘s reaction.

I sat and absorbed that truth, even though I’ve known it since that squelchy first moment when my son popped into the light, waved his hands and looked for food. I just hope that, as my children delve into life’s rucksack, they’ll always be a place for me, somewhere near the bottom as pain relief.

Or failing that my debit card….

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published two anthologies of short stories, Life, in a Grain of Sand and Life in a Flash. More will appear soon, including a memoir of my mother's last years. I will try and continue to blog regularly at geofflepard.com about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
This entry was posted in family, miscellany, review, theatre, thought and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Telling Tales #stories #nationaltheatre #review

  1. Ritu says:

    Sounds like a good play. And sorry for your toothache. I hope it’s feeling better soon.
    I’m sure there’ll always be a need for you His Geoffleship 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Darlene says:

    How can you possibly hurt your tooth munching on a baked potato skin? I hope it is better soon. The play sounds good and timely.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mary Smith says:

    Sounds a good play. Sorry about the tooth. At my last check up the dentist said I didn’t any work, then produced another metal thingie and began banging it around my teeth – ‘just to make sure.’ Touting for business, I think. And yes, we’ve long recognised the efficacy of the debit card as an analgesic for off spring’s pain.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. willowdot21 says:

    The play sounds like a ‘talking heads’ play but more serious. As for your place in the rucksack of your your children’s lives I think you’re okay for now, your credit card definitely is 💜💜

    Liked by 2 people

  5. You can certainly count on the debit card. Enjoyed the post, Geoff.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. LOL… squelchy moments and debit cards… I’m glad you kept your sense of humor. I’m terrified of the dentist. o_O Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Potato skin? I broke a tooth on a potato crisp once….. Oh the ignominy! The play sounds wonderful. We don’t get offered ice creams at live performances here – just alcohol 😀 I suspect your kids will always need you in their painful times and be there for you in yours. Good parenting that segues into good friendship builds strong connections.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Sympathies with the tooth Geoff. I had a check up a little while ago and need a filling, which may be an extraction depending on how deep it goes. It wasnt bothering me in the slightest anyway, so no toothache.
    My appointment is on Monday, and it will now be an extraction because the damn tooth broke today on a piece of crusty bread no less and thus unlikely he will fill it. It doesn’t hurt (yet), but I’m glad we’ve got loads of paracetamol in the house,

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Widdershins says:

    I’ll refrain from entertaining you with my latest tooth extraction reminiscences, suffice it to say, DO NOT DELAY, getting that little bugger fixed, and if you can, maybe change dentists. The last thing anyone needs is someone like that faffing around in our mouths. I had one of those when I was a kid, unfortunately he was worse than I feared, and the ensuing trauma resulted in the state my teeth are in today. Thankfully my last two dentists have been of the wonderfully trustworthy sort.
    Also, a hot water-bottle on the side of the face is soothing wonderful.

    Like

  10. Norah says:

    Potato – would have been more fitting if it had been a potato straw. (Did you have them over there?) Then it would have been the last straw. I hope you have recovered now. The play sounds interesting but I agree with the hope expressed at the end of your post. We just don’t want to be redundant, do we?

    Liked by 1 person

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