Image: The Vaults
When Clem first dates Luke, she is a 32-year-old ambitious go-getter woman, (eggcount 115), with no interest in motherhood.
Four years later, and happily in love, she decides she does want a child after all.
Clem and Luke then gradually find themselves in a crisis of infertility, in which Clem becomes increasingly obsessed with time, (insisting it is going too fast), and counting things (like her remaining eggcount) ...
To make matters worse, Clem's older and best friend, Ruth, accidentally conceives a second child, aggravating her despair.
By the time Clem is 42 (eggcount 7) she has become mentally and emotionally absent, slipping in and out of her own 'egg-time' (which runs faster than everyone else's).
Luke, fearing he has lost her, suggests that it's time to give up on 'project baby'.
About 500 combines an unfolding drama between 3 characters with an exploration of the subjective nature of time and a docu-theatre thread suggesting the real women's voices behind the play.
It also uses movement and an 'installation' made up of 100s of tiny meringues to convey the spent and squandered ovulations that come to haunt the protagonist.
The story's 10-year passage of time is made explicit to the audience through an ever-present visual display of Clem's remaining egg count, a forcible reminder of her ever diminishing odds.
The average age of first conception for women in the UK is now 30 and climbing steadily.
However, the cliff edge of female fertility remains brutal, dropping dramatically at 35, with the result that more and more women find themselves involuntarily childless in their 40s.
This has a huge, and seriously overlooked, impact on women's mental health.
The fundamental disparity between a punishingly finite female fertility and a potentially infinite male fertility remains an issue that our society has failed to address, and something of a blind spot for feminism.
About 500 invites audiences to consider this raw deal that contemporary women face.
Social media & info
London SE1 7NN
Performance days & times
Wednesday ‑ 7‑00pm
Thursday ‑ 7‑00pm
Friday ‑ 7‑00pm
Saturday ‑ 7‑00pm
Sunday ‑ 7‑00pm
Saturday - 3-00pm
Sunday - 3-00pm
Production: Simona Hughes