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MISCARRIAGE title card (promo)
Miscarriage
, by Noxy Productions, is a 2014 standalone drama by Noxy. It is the second non-soap opera production of the company, following on from the five-part chiller series The You In Me, which was published in October 2014. Miscarriage was produced for the Writers Express forum event, Megmash II, and was the first piece submitted for this event when it was published on 13th December 2014.

Set in the city of Westminster in central London, the project's central character is 19-year-old undergrauate Rachel Stanhope. References are made to Rachel being something of a 'tearaway teen' prior to her miscarriage, as well as the fact she cheated on her boyfriend, Johnny Robinson, with her university lecturer, Maxwell Chapman - who later turns out to be a womaniser with a penchant for his own students.

The drama opens with Rachel having just suffered her miscarriage, and struggling to come to terms with it. A kindly but plain-spoken midwife, Sunita Prakesh, explains to Rachel how her miscarriage happened and what she should do next. Sunita explains there may be pregnancy tissue left in Rachel's womb, and so gives Rachel a number of options. Rachel decides on taking another pregnancy test in three weeks time. If it comes back negative, the tissue has passed through her system naturally and is gone. If it is positive, pregnancy tissue remains, and so this would then need to be surgically removed.

Following her discharge from hospital, Rachel suffers recurring nightmares and flashbacks pertaining to the miscarriage, including the miscarriage itself and the phone call she made to emergency services. Her parents, Claire and Nigel, do their best to support her, but at times they make decisions which may be in Rachel's best interests, but that surprise Rachel. For example, Claire goes to see Johnny and reveals the miscarriage to him, which he was previously unaware of; and Nigel makes a wreath and headstone in memory of Amber - the name Rachel gives the miscarried baby - but this initially upsets Rachel further. However, she later sees the kindness in the idea and gets behind it.

As Rachel takes time out from university to recover from her ordeal, it becomes clear that her best friend, Abbi Lowe - who is studying the same subject at university as Rachel - also has feelings for Maxwell Chapman. Maxwell is their lecturer, and he had an affair with Rachel before her miscarriage. He is unaware of the miscarriage. Abbi and Maxwell share a kiss in their scene together. But, wracked by guilt, Abbi later admits her liason with Maxwell to an unimpressed but ambiguous Rachel. However, Rachel blames Maxwell more than Abbi, especially as Abbi vehemently insists she only made a move on Maxwell after Rachel had had her miscarriage. Rachel reveals she is going to end things with Maxwell anyway, and warns Abbi off Maxwell altogether. Abbi pleads with Rachel to tell her what to do to make things right between them. Rachel suggests Abbi tell the university about Maxwell's multiple dalliances with students, and that she 'keeps taking the Pill.'

Eventually, Rachel is stunned when ex-boyfriend Johnny, who has been ignoring her up until now, pays her a visit, and the former couple begin to work things out, insinuating that they will reunite. Rachel reveals to Johnny that she is scared to take the final pregnancy test, which she admits she should have taken the day before, as this means she really does have to let Amber go. But Johnny assures her he will be there for her and encourages her to get it over and done with, which she subsequently does. To her heartbreak, the test comes back negative, meaning all the pregnancy tissue has now passed naturally though her system and is gone. The drama ends with an emotional Rachel telling Johnny repeatedly that the test is negative. He comforts her, as she finally releases all the emotions she has been bottling up since the miscarriage.

Title Card

In keeping with the tone of the project, the title card is sombre and subtle, and slightly ethereal. A picture of an unborn foetus represents the background. The title is repeated in a shadow, giving it a sense of being detached and vague, in keeping with the narrative.

Critical Reception

To date, 'Miscarriage' has received a universally positive response, with one reviewer describing it as 'utterly compelling', whilst another praised it as 'stunning, simply stunning'. Particular praise was given to the leading character, Rachel Stanhope, as well as to the sensitive and informative portrayal of the subject matter, and the characterisation. Miscarriage was WX's most popular project in December 2014, receiving a feedback rating of 70%. It was the 3rd most popular project of 2015 overall, behind Cold Blood at #2 and the year's most popular project, The You In Me (another Noxy production).

Writers Express Awards

At WRIXAS 9 - the ninth, bi-annual Writers Express Awards, held on 8th March 2015 - Miscarriage was triumphant, scooping seven accolades including 'Best New Project', 'Best Project' and 'Best Drama'. It also won 'Best Drama Male' (Nigel Stanhope), 'Best Drama Female' (Rachel Stanhope), 'Best Drama Scene' (Rachel Breaks Down When Her Pregnancy Test Shows Negative) and 'Best Drama Plot' (Rachel Stanhope's Miscarriage Grief). By winning seven WRIXAS at one ceremony, it currently holds the title of WX's most successful one-off drama project ever.

Cast

Character

Actor

Rachel Stanhope

Jacqueline Jossa

Nigel Stanhope

Ray Winstone

Claire Stanhope Gillian Taylforth
Johnny Robinson Ben Hardy
Abbi Lowe Anna Shaffer
Maxwell Chapman Aaron Fontaine

Charlie Davies

Will Merrick

Sunita Prakesh

Parminder Nagra

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