The King’s Head Theatre announce that the world premiere of Breeding – a funny, moving drama about adopting as queer parents – will headline the second Takeover season, curated by Guest Artistic Director Tom Ratcliffe.
Breeding, written by Barry McStay (Vespertilio) and directed by Matthew Iliffe (Off-West End Award Winner, Bacon), will play from 19 April – 7 May with a press performance on 24 April.
Zeb and Eoin have met, kissed, fallen in love, moved in, got married – what’s next?
Zeb will be Fun Daddy. Eoin will be Serious Daddy.
Beth’s job is to decide if they get to be Daddies at all. Together they navigate the exposing road to adoption, forced to lay bare fears and secrets, all in the hope of being deemed “appropriate” parents.
Author Barry McStay, originally from Kildare in Ireland, said “Breeding is a play that asks how far you will go to have a family, especially within a system that doesn’t seem built for you. Speaking to people who have been through the adoption process, I was amazed at how exposing and arduous it can be – taking over 2 years on average and digging into all aspects of your life. For queer people, the feeling of vulnerability is enhanced. I wanted to write a play that explores this while telling a new story for a new generation of queer families. This is a 21st-century play about an age-old story – a couple wanting to have kids – but in this instance it is a gay couple. I hope it is radical in its domesticity.
“I’m thrilled to be working with the Kings Head Theatre again and am delighted that a theatre celebrated for its queer output is giving this play its premiere. I’m grateful to their brilliant Guest AD Tom Ratcliffe for his trust and I’m excited to be working with an immensely talented director in (Offie winner!) Matthew Iliffe. This will be a play that makes audiences laugh, cry and tells a story they’ve never heard before.”
The show will also feature set and costume design by Ceci Calf (Off-West End Award Nominee, Yes So I Said Yes), lighting design by Ryan Joseph Stafford (Grimeboy), and sound design by Julian Starr (Off-West End Award Nominee, Rose).
Casting for the show will be announced soon.
Tom Ratcliffe said, “When I first saw a reading of Barry’s provocative and heartfelt play last year, I knew this was a play that audiences needed to experience and I’m absolutely delighted that Breeding will be headlining ‘A Queer Interrogation. For me Breeding is exactly what excites me about new queer theatre today, in that it takes a look at issues which directly affect queer lives and puts a three-dimensional human face on it.”
The Takeover sees the iconic Islington pub venue welcoming four guest Artistic Directors, drawn from different theatre backgrounds, curating their own individual programmes. The guest Artistic Directors – Isabel Adomakoh Young, Tom Ratcliffe, Tania Azevedo and David Cumming – are all mid-career LGBTQ+ artists from various disciplines.
The King’s Head Theatre was established in 1970. A vibrant and vital part of the UK theatre scene, they are known for their challenging work and support of emerging artists. They are committed to fighting prejudice through the work they stage, the artists and staff they work with. They believe in fair pay for all on the fringe and create accessible routes for early career artists to stage their work – work they are passionate about.
Their artistic policy is unapologetically broad: they welcome new work, critical theatrical revivals, accessible opera and a full spectrum of LGBTQIA+ work.