A GRADUATE is savouring success after writing a comedy play while commuting to the University of Brighton.

In-vitro-fertilisation (IVF) is not a subject one would immediately think suitable for a comedy but Lucy Russell’s ‘STUFFED’ has caught the eye of the theatre world and has been selected by the award-winning Jack Studio Theatre to run in London for two weeks this month – taking in International Women’s Day.

Lucy wrote her play during 2015 and 2016 while on her lengthy train commute from Brixton to Eastbourne before graduating with an MSc in Occupational Therapy.

She said: “The play is designed to break down the barriers that often prevent people talking about fertility, and is loosely based on my own experiences of IVF and career change.”

Lucy worked in advertising for ten years before retraining as an Occupational Therapist. Her master’s research project was focused on ‘Career Change after Adversity’, and she hopes the play will help others facing fertility challenges, and their friends and family, feel better equipped for the journey.

Lucy said, “The NHS estimates that 3.5 million people in the UK are currently facing fertility issues yet discussion on the topic, while no longer taboo, is fraught with anxiety and superstition.

“People on both sides still don’t know how to talk about it openly, those with children to those without, doctors to patients, and people on the journey to each other. I hope my play will help demystify some of the challenges and offer a new perspective on a life that doesn’t have to have children as the focus.”

Lucy, 42, and working as a Care Coordinator, said she enjoyed her University course: “The Eastbourne campus was a very supportive oasis away from the pace and competitiveness of London. It was inspiring to be in an environment where each member of staff practised what they preached in such a variety of different ways, and where the emphasis was very much on each student's own personal journey as a professional and not just purely driven by a focus on scores and grades.”

STUFFED is the first comedy about IVF in UK theatre and is at the Brockley Jack Studio Theatre in London until 17 March.

For more information go to brockleyjack.co.uk