Theatre Review – Breeders, London

A hilarious and quirky comedy at the St. James Theatre, London about a lesbian couple who have reach their stage in their relationships where they have decided that they would like to have a baby; but one that they feel is entirely their own. So, their solution to this? Ask the brother of one of the women to donate his sperm – the natural conclusion, obviously.

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This is the set-up for Ben Ockrent’s new comedy, directed by Tamara Harvey, which had audiences laughing out loud on a number of occasions throughout. Some of this is due to the fact that the scene changes are cut with the most peculiar Swedish renditions of Christmas and 80’s songs, as the story takes place in the run-up to Christmas. But the one-liners are equally as amusing.

A family get together turns into a declaration that Andrea and Caroline – (said lesbian couple played by Angela Griffin and Tamzin Outhwaite) would like a baby, and the best way they’ve concluded they can make a baby that is equal parts them, is to ask Andrea’s brother, Jimmy, to donate his sperm. Jimmy is keen; he expresses his wishes to be a father, and agrees straight away. His girlfriend, Sharon (played by Jemima Rooper) is less enthusiastic about the whole idea and so begins the problems.

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All manner of awkward and hilarious situations ensue when Andrea suggests the best way for them to have this baby and raise it adequately, is to all live together, as a group of ‘breeders.’ It’s no surprise that this doesn’t go smoothly and even begins with Sharon taking it upon herself to ensure that Andrea and Caroline are ready to be parents, by giving them a bag of flour (which, is one of the highlights for me, but I’d rather not ruin it!)

The play comes across as being presented in two distinct halves; the first part is light-hearted, with the dialogue and story based around the gags that make the audience chuckle. But the second half adds far more depth to the play, going into the issues that this situation undoubtedly brings into debate regarding parenthood, family and sexuality.

It’s cleverly staged, and cleverly addresses some hotly debated topics. Breeders is playing at the St. James Theatre, London until October 4th – hurry up and catch it!

www.stjamestheatre.co.uk

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