Strip out the comic vignettes and the play is left feeling flimsy
One of my favourite plays recently was Hear Me Howl at the Old Red Lion about a woman, approaching 30, under pressure to have a baby when it really wasn't something she wanted to do.
It was refreshing to look at the woman/mother debate from a different angle.
Nina Raine's new play Stories is back to familiar territory: A woman desperately wants a kid.
Unlike Yerma (Billie Piper was cracking in the Young Vic production two years ago) it's not a physical problem, more of a partner problem.
Anna (Claudie Blakley) is 39 and in a long-term relationship with a younger man Joe (Brian Vernel) but on the eve of their IVF treatment he gets cold feet about being a father.
Desire for baby not questioned
Such is her desire for a baby she decides to use a sperm donor but it is a desire that isn't really questioned or examined.
Only once is Anna asked directly why she wants to have a baby - it's a feeling she 'can't explain' - and it isn't debated.
Ideas of legacy/not wanting to die alone are, slightly clunkily, referred to by the recurring appearance of a young girl and flashbacks to Anna's old landlady.
There is no mention of alternatives such as adoption.
The focus on the pros and cons of using an anonymous sperm donor vs a named donor feels more like a comic device than something to explore in depth.