Canal Street Online Manchester

Breeding at The Kings Theatre Islington

Breeding at The Kings Theatre Islington

The recently opened King’s Head Theatre, having moved from its old location is a nice studio space but not easily accessible (even with a lift).  The acoustics in the auditorium were bad and voices were often quite muffled.

However, the play itself was very interesting, appealing to a predominantly young and gay audience who found it very funny but not sure my companion and I did as we thought the jokes were rather thin. 

The play chartered the journey of 2 married gay men, Eoin and Zeb who decide to adopt a child, Eoin being more enthusiastic about this than Zeb. Working with their social worker, Beth, also gay and ‘trying for a child’, they worked through the tortuous 3-step process of being approved for adoption. Just as they pass the approval stage and are waiting to be matched with a child, Zeb contracts cancer and eventually dies.

In a rather tragic unrealistic ending, Beth suggests that the frozen sperm of Eoin be used to create a child for her and partner Alana. I'm not sure what Beth’s employers would think about her being that personally involved with her clients; that, together with potential ‘conflict of interests,’ would probably earn her the sack!

There is a predictable comparison of the difficulties faced by gay couples adopting, and straight couples who can ‘just shag and have a baby’ maybe not a fair comparison.  It is just as hard for straight couples to adopt as gay couples.  They all have to go through the same lengthy and difficult procedures.

It was a very simple but imaginative set – with the ‘3-steps to adoption’ building blocks and the array of charts, checklists etc on the back screen depicting the complex paperwork couples must go through to make adoption possible.  It was an informative perspective of what couples must endure to make adoption possible.

The play is really about how ‘stuff’, in this case cancer, gets in the way of your life’s hopes and dreams – but positive too, in that Eoin and Beth find a way ahead (if not a very realistic way!).

Matthew King for Canal St Media

Published: 27-Mar-2024 (7420)

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