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Breeding returns to King’s Head Theatre, 21 March – 14 April, following its critically acclaimed debut in 2023. Written by Barry McStay and directed by Tom Ratcliffe, the play premiered at the King’s Head pub theatre in 2023 as part of Guest Artistic Director Tom Ratcliffe’s A Queer Interrogation season.

Breeding will be the third show in the King’s Head’s new 200-seat purpose-built theatre in Islington Square, which opened in January 2024.

In a funny and moving drama about queer parents trying to adopt kids, we follow the story of Zeb and Eoin who have met, kissed, fallen in love, moved in, and married. What’s next for them? They decide that Zeb will be Fun Daddy and Eoin will be Serious Daddy. Enter Beth! It’s Beth’s job to decide if they are “appropriate” Daddies after all, and together, they navigate the precarious road to adoption and queer parenthood, forced to lay bare fears and secrets.

‘We’re not the new normal. We’re the new fucking extraordinary.’

Barry McStay and Dan Nicholson (Sleep No More – Punchdrunk, The Man Who Would Be King – Dawn State) will reprise their roles as ‘Eoin’ and ‘Zeb’ respectively, with Offies-award winning actress Nemide May (Foxes, Theatre 503) joining the company as ‘Beth’.

Writer Barry McStay, who is originally from Kildare in Ireland, told QX, “Breeding is a story I am passionate about sharing. It asks just how far you would go to have a family and depicts a new generation of queer people navigating the exhausting journey towards parenthood. The overwhelming reaction to the 2023 production demonstrated that the appetite is there to hear these domestic stories from a new, queer angle. The play is funny, messy, and moving, full of imperfect people trying to make perfect decisions. I was grateful to the King’s Head and Tom Ratcliffe for presenting the World Premiere and am delighted they are bringing this new production to their beautiful new theatre. With the UK becoming less and less safe for LGBTQ+ people, it is vital to support queer theatre, and I am proud that even more people will now have the chance to hear Beth, Zeb and Eoin’s stories”.

Breeding is the title of a gay play at The Kings Head Theatre in Islington, London.

Breeding Reviews 2023

‘Enjoyable & moving tragi-comedy’ ★★★★★ Broadway Baby
‘Riotously funny. Beautiful’ ★★★★ Theatre Weekly
‘The birth of a modern classic’ ★★★★ All That Dazzles
‘Clever, funny writing’ ★★★★ The Reviews Hub
‘Powerful writing’ ★★★★ Theatre & Tonic

Tom Ratcliffe added, “When I first read Breeding, I knew I had to programme the show as part of my season at the Kings Head Theatre last year. I was drawn to it because Barry progresses the narrative of queer storytelling to reflect some of the challenges LGBT+ people may face today. I’m delighted that the play is getting the chance to be experienced again, and it’s an absolute privilege to direct such a tender, provocative and moving piece of work.”

Tickets: https://kingsheadtheatre.com/whats-on/breeding

Breeding plays at King’s Head Theatre, 21 March – 14 April, 116, Upper Street, London N1 1QN, United Kingdom.

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