Two Minutes - Looking at the comedic side of fertility treatment

By Tiana Binns

Getting pregnant is not always as simple as it is made out to be.

Many women go on a rollercoaster of heartbreak and stress while trying to have a child. Dublin playwright Breda McCann brings the story of fertility treatment to life in a comedic way in her debut play, ‘Two Minutes’.

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Breda McCann playing lead role Trisha and Wayne Leitch playing Billy (Image: Billy Cahill)

From Wednesday, February 12 to 15, Breda will be performing as the lead character, Trisha, in the play.

The performances start at 8.15pm at the Civic Theatre in Tallaght and tickets are €16. 

‘Two Minutes’ follows mother of two Trisha, and the stresses, heartbreak and disappointment that fertility treatments can bring on a couple. However, Breda put a comedic twist on the story, reminding the audience to, “remember laughter in the dark times”.

Wayne Leitch plays the other lead in the play, Billy. “It’s a difficult play to perform without laughing out loud. I hope the audience gets a bit of entertainment out of it and a break from the drudgery of life for an hour or so,” Wayne said.

In an interview with The Echo, Breda shares her own experience with fertility treatment and how that influenced her journey writing ‘Two Minutes’.

Where are you from and how did you get into theatre?

I was born and raised in Dublin. I started acting at the young age of forty in group productions around the community. In 2018, I performed in a production directed by Sean Ronan, called ‘What About Us?’, where I played the character, Julie.

That production was also at The Civic Theatre in Tallaght. I’ve always been interested in writing though.

I’ve written a lot of short stories and monologues, but ‘Two Minutes’ is my first play that will take the stage.

What is ‘Two Minutes’ about?

‘Two Minutes’ is about a mother of two who is struggling through the process of fertility treatment. It takes you through a rollercoaster of emotions and the stress that going through that process can bring on a couple.

There’s a lot of heartache, but also a lot of comedy. I want to remind the audience that even in the dark times, it is important to remember the laughter that comes along with it too.

The story follows the couple Trisha and Billy, Trish being played by myself and Billy being played by Wayne Leitch. They are actually the only two characters in the play.

The cool thing about ‘Two Minutes’ is that it explores both Trish’s and Billy’s experience going through this process of trying to have a child.

It flips perspective from one person to the other to tell a more rounded story on how this experience affects both people in the relationship and how they work together to make their dream come true.

What was your inspiration for this play?

Well, I wanted to bring the story of fertility treatment to life. It’s often a story that goes untold. It’s also based on my own experience with fertility treatment and others that I know.

I think it’s important for people to hear about the difficulties that come along with the joy of trying to have a child and I have always been interested in hearing other people’s stories.

Many women do have to use fertility treatment. It’s not uncommon, but it’s also not something that is typically brought to a stage.

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Breda McCann and Wayne Leitch star in the play (Image: Billy Cahill)

What was the writing process like?

The writing process sort of happened in degrees. There was a bit of time where it had to be put on the back burner, so that we could find a person to play the role of Billy. We needed someone who could really portray the character.

We found Wayne and he portrays the character down to a T in my opinion. After that it only took a couple of weeks to finish completely. Then there is the whole process of rehearsing the piece and getting it ready for the stage, which took a bit longer.

Writing the piece though, it was difficult sometimes. The loss and heartbreak in the story were hard, but the humour was the best part for me. It broke up the heartache. The story really does take you through a rollercoaster of emotions throughout.

What do you hope the audience will get out of ‘Two Minutes’?

I hope the audience gains insight to the story and the characters. It’s like a keyhole into someone’s life, so I hope the audience resonates with it.

I hope it’s relatable to some people in the audience and that they can commiserate and laugh together. I also hope that my experience as a writer can be helpful to other aspiring playwrights.

My best advice to those people would be to just keep at it and not give up.

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