Dangerous Visions 2016: Review: Produce

produceWritten by Joseph Wilde, directed by Abigail le Fleming

BBC Radio 4, May 23rd, click here for iPlayer link

What price perfection?

The first of the new plays for Dangerous Visions 2016 is a very apt counterpart to the adaptation of Brave New World that runs either end of the week; Huxley’s tale of a eugenics-driven world seems far away from our own time, yet we have IVF babies, and there’s much talk of being able to alter the DNA of a child to eradicate disease (and, more controversially, conditions that are far from being a disease, such as Downs Syndrome). The two parents at the heart of this play need to lose something from their own genetic heritage but don’t realise quite how much they’re going to have to choose along the way – and what the consequences of those decisions will be.

Produce is one of the best of the plays in any of the three seasons of Dangerous Visions, taking a premise to its logical conclusion, and raising a considerable number of questions along the way. Nature vs nurture is obviously key, but there’s plenty else under consideration in this dark tale – if a child is “created” in a lab, how much is it simply a piece of merchandise? And what are the legal ramifications?

Excellent performances from all involved make you wonder just how close this is to the present-day – and whether those of us with IVF children may one day face the dilemmas within.

Verdict: An all too plausible dark tale. 9/10

Paul Simpson

The next Dangerous Vision play is Your Perfect Summer, On Sale Here, on May 24th at 1415

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