A Queer Interrogation, Tom Ratcliffe’s takeover at the King’s Head theatre, 19 April – 14 May.

gay theatre London queer interrogation

A Queer Interrogation is a takeover at the King’s Head theatre that runs from 19th April to 14th May.

King's Head Theatre

A Queer Interrogation is a takeover at the King’s Head theatre curated by guest Artistic Director Tom Ratcliffe from 19 April to 14 May at the King’s Head Theatre. The takeover takes place alongside a new writing festival from 8 to 14 May platforming new LGBTQI+ stories and voices, co-curated with Rikki Beadle-Blair.

Tom Ratcliffe announces his new-writing-bonanza season as Guest Artistic Director: A Queer Interrogation.

Tom’s season is part of The Takeover, where four mid-career LGBTQI+ artists are handed the keys to our iconic pub theatre.

His season, A Queer Interrogation, focuses on telling LGBTQI+ stories whilst also highlighting and celebrating the importance of new writing – from work-in-progress one nighters to 3 weeks of a fully fledged runs.  

Tom told QX “I’m so excited to announce a season of work which celebrates & platforms such an exciting & important range of queer stories & artists. Having my work staged at fringe and off-west end venues such as KHT 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 & cry but most importantly, they can expect to question the world around them through engaging with theatre that asks questions about our society.”

breeding queer interrogation

Breeding at King’s Head, 19 April – 7 May.

Tom Ratcliffe’s headline show is Breeding. Written by Barry McStay, Breeding is a funny and moving drama about adopting as gay parents. The show is directed by Offie Award Winning Director Matthew Iliffe (Bacon – Finborough Theatre), and plays from the 19th April to 7th May. 

Barry McStay
Barry McStay

Breeding follows Zeb and Eoin who have met, kissed, fallen in love, moved in, and married. Together they navigate the exposing road to adoption and are forced to lay bare fears and secrets, hoping to be deemed “appropriate” parents by Beth. The show is a funny, moving drama about parenthood, queer families and enduring love, and it was long-listed for the Theatre503 Playwriting Award 2018. 

Dan Nicholson at King's Head Theatre
Dan Nicholson
Gay theatre
Aamira Challenger

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’. 


Tom Ratcliffe's Takeover of The King's Head Theatre
Click image to book.

Tom Ratcliffe’s Take Over: A Queer Interrogation. 

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. 

Following a successful run at VAULT Festival this eye opening exploration of asexuality explores attraction and sexuality. Is Ace’s crush romantic or platonic? Why does everyone keep talking about sex? Ace has never had this dilemma before so it’s all very confusing.

  • Rapture by Sophie Leydon (19 Apr)

Rosy, Tommy and Kit are clued-up, kinky and queer as f*ck. This Subversive, humorous and heartwarming, show follows hard bar-manager Tommy and polyamorous partner-and-girlfriend Kit and Rosy through their intersecting lives in contemporary East London. This interdisciplinary show uses verbatim from the queer community.

  • Belinda by Amy-Rose Edlyn & Emilia Nurmukhametova (20 Apr)

In a PULPably tense tarot reading, best friends peel back their impostor syndrome, squeeze their subconscious and expand the latex of their joyful queer bubble. Bold Mellon, Kings Head Theatre cabaret regulars (Aqueerius), combines a British narrative with Eastern European Flair in this new play. 

A dark-comedy following twenty-something waitress Kit who’s just been diagnosed with PTSD. Looking at the way in which this generation navigates mental health issues through tik tok – Kit might cry but she’ll be sure to take a cute photo of it. 

A  horror show exploring the history of homophobia in Spain. When a stranger bursts into a young man’s life, it stirs something deep inside him. Expect a Spanish Brokeback Mountain set in the 17th Century… with werewolves (kinda).

Why didn’t Pokemon prepare us for this? A Brighton Fringe Nominated comedy about how Pokemon ruined the Millennial generation. 

From self-tape auditions to performing as a gay webcam model, what price will Jonas Harland – a jobbing-actor and council-estate boy ‘done good’ – pay in his attempts to win the career he has always dreamt of? 

Frankie Heartless is the King with the violin. Join them as they talk, sing and play their way through love, dating and gender identity. They are currently competing in Drag Idol UK and Man Up (The Glory) as their Drag King persona. 

A comedy-drama exploring the dynamic surrounding a young royal princess who identifies as a lesbian. Heading to Durham University the Princess meets Kae at the Dance Society and soon dancing is not all they are doing… This  punchy comedic new play explores the royal family’s relationship to queerness.

Award-Winning Queer Ventriloquist, Physical Comedian and “Winningly Silly” (Chortle) Clown, Lachlan Werner, is developing material for a brand new show. He has no idea what it will be yet. There will probably be wooden-heads and horrid imaginary friends and shouting with minimal lip movement. Lachlan promises a brand new hour of no-strings-attached hilarity.

  • Naughty by Andrew Houghton (5 & 7 May)

Recounting an unstable first gay experience with his drama teacher, Naughty is a funny and frank show discussing sex, identity and relationships… This OffFest finalist,  examines the over-sexualisation of queer relationships. 

On the day of King Charles III coronation, join us for a right royal romp of the kinkiest cabaret proportions!  Letitia Delish is on a mission to expose our heads of state as the filthy family they truly are. Let London’s rudest royalist guide you on a journey into BDSM & fetish as she examines the obsession and repulsion of British sex habits. 

A campy murder mystery from Drag Queen Rosacea Blemish. It’s the crowing moment before she’s about to be named The Next Hag Supertart, but as the crown in placed on her cranimum someone blows Rosacea to peices… The funnest, campest most OTT Who Dunnit you’ll ever see.


Platform Festival, 8 – 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 four new plays by four different writers to the festival, which contains 15 new plays in just one week.

Rikki Beadle-Blair told QX, “It is 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!”


The Takeover sees the iconic Islington pub venue welcome four guest Artistic Directors, drawn from different theatre backgrounds, curating their programmes. 

Senior Producer Sofi Berenger told QX, “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 am 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 guest Artistic Directors are all mid-career LGBTQ+ artists from various disciplines. 

Isabel Adomakoh Young

Tom Ratcliffe

Tania Azevedo

David Cumming


king's head theatre queer interrogation
Photo Credit Simon J Webb (Image supplied)

About The King’s Head Theatre

Established in 1970, the King’s Head Theatre is a vibrant and vital part of the UK theatre scene and is known for its challenging work and support of emerging artists. They are committed to fighting prejudice through the work they stage, the artists and the 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.

The guest artistic directors’ seasons will be some of the final seasons programmed in the Kings Head Theatre Pub in its current building, London’s oldest pub theatre. More details on the new theatre space will be announced in due course. 

Arts Council England has supported the programme.

The King’s Head Theatre, 115 Upper Street, London N1 1QN – Box Office 020 7226 8561

Twitter @kingsheadthtr / Instagram & Facebook @kingsheadtheatre / Web kingsheadtheatre.com

 

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