The King’s Head Theatre announces further details of A Queer Interrogation, the second season of the Takeover, curated by Guest Artistic Director Tom Ratcliffe, playing at the iconic Islington pub theatre 19 April – 14 May.
In the final week, from 8 – 14 May, Tom will be working with artists such as writer, actor and director Rikki Beadle-Blair to produce Platform Festival – a full week of work-in-progress writing aimed at promoting new LGBTQI+ stories and voices. Rikki will be bringing 4 new plays by 4 different writers to the festival which contains 15 new plays in just one week.
Casting has also been announced for Tom’s headline show Breeding by Barry McStay – a funny, moving drama about adopting as gay parents – written by Barry McStay and directed by Offie Award Winning Director Matthew Iliffe (Bacon – Finborough Theatre), playing 19 April – 7 May, with a press night on Monday 24 April.
Aamira Challenger (The Lavender Hill Mob – UK tour, Blithe Spirit – Bath Theatre Royal and West End) will play ‘Beth’, alongside Barry McStay as ‘Eoin’ and Dan Nicholson (Sleep No More – Punchdrunk, The Man Who Would Be King – Dawn State) as ‘Zeb’.
The rest of Tom’s season centres on new writing – plays and stories that have something BIG to say and ask important, necessary questions about the world we live in today. These stories are plot driven, and from the best up and coming LGBTQI+ playwrights.
Playing alongside Breeding is Vault Festival transfer That’s Ace, a story about asexuality, attraction and the difference between romantic and platonic love; Rapture, from interdisciplinary group Pink Sky uses verbatim recordings to explores polyamory, ones chosen family and queer identities; Belinda, from regular KHT cabaret collective Bold Mellon (Aqueerius), a new play of friendship, tarot cards and imposter syndrome; Post Traumatic Slay Disorder a story exploring how mental illness can be navigated through Tik Tok trends; Rotting Hart, explores the history of homophobia in Spain, a horror period drama but with Werewolves.
Brighton Fringe Nominated comedy Generation Why looks at how Pokemon ruined the millennial generation. Director Scott Le Crass (Harry’s Christmas) returns to King’s Head Theatre with Self-Tape a narrative that oscillates between a jobbing actor and his online sex-shows for clients. Written during lockdown this piece holds a mirror up to society.
Tom’s season continues with Tangerines – a show looking at what would happen if Princess Charlotte was gay; Naughty, an intimate story about a taboo relationship between a teacher and their student. Another royal themed show God Save The Kink, performed on King Charles III coronation, this kinky cabaret by Letitia Delish is on a mission to expose our heads of states, guiding the audience through BDSM & fetishes. Finally, Drag Queen Rosacea Blemish brings you Will it Actually Ever Happen? a camp murder mystery set in a drag contest.
In the final week Tom will be working with artists such as writer, actor and director Rikki Beadle-Blair to produce Platform Festival – a full week of work-in-progress writing from some of the most exciting up and coming LGBTQI+ playwrights. Rikki will be bringing 4 new plays by 4 different writers to the festival which contains 15 new plays in just one week.
Tom Ratcliffe said, “I’m so excited to announce a season of work which celebrates and platforms such an exciting and important range of queer stories and artists. Having my work staged at fringe and off-west end venues such as the Kings Head over the years has absolutely shaped the artist I am still becoming. To be able to provide the same opportunities that have benefitted me to other artists is something that I am incredibly passionate about. Audiences can expect to be entertained, challenged, to laugh and cry but most importantly, they can expect to question the world around them through engaging with theatre that asks questions about our society.”
Rikki Beadle-Blair said, “It’s my thrill and ongoing passion to introduce exciting new visions from brave new minds to the world; to offer unforgettable new experiences to audiences, creatives and performers. These four performances offer the chance to say – ‘I was there that night. And what a night it was!”
Senior Producer Sofi Berenger said “A commitment to staging new writing has been important to the artistic ethos of Kings Head Theatre since founding artistic director Dan Crawford, who famously championed the early careers of writers such as Tom Stoppard, Steven Berkoff and Bryony Lavery. I’m so glad Tom and Rikki are continuing this during this season, especially since they have both previously had new writing themselves on at Kings Head Theatre.”
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.