Tom Ratcliffe is curating a whole season of exciting new writing at one of London’s best theatres!
Since 1970, the King’s Head Theatre in Islington has been where writers, actors and directors just starting out have cut their teeth before going onto some of the capital’s biggest stages. This tradition is in no danger of dying out, thanks to excellent initiatives like The Takeover.
The Takeover sees more experienced queer creatives return to the pub theatre to curate a season of new works. The second of the four temporary artistic directors is Tom Ratcliffe, playwright and co-director of Wildcard theatre company. He’s giving his selections the overarching name of ‘A Queer Interrogation’ and it promises to cover a wide range of subjects linked to contemporary LGBTQ+ life.
“Having my work staged at fringe and off-west end venues such as the King’s Head over the years has absolutely shaped the artist I am still becoming,” said Ratcliffe. ”To be able to provide the same opportunities that have benefitted me to other artists is something that I am incredibly passionate about.”
Running between 19th April and 7th May, the season’s main production is a new play called Breeding written by Barry McStay, which follows a gay married couple dipping their toes into the world of adoption and exploring whether starting a family is the right decision for them. Casting has recently been announced, with McStay and Dan Nicholson playing the main couple, while Aamira Challenger takes on the role of Beth.
As well as that, there are a number of other plays showing for one night only or a couple of dates. Some of these include:
- 19th April: Rapture – interdisciplinary group Pink Sky uses verbatim recordings to explore polyamory, one’s chosen family and queer identities
- 21st & 23rd April: The Rotting Heart – a study of homophobia in Spain told as a horror period drama with werewolves
- 2nd-6th May: That’s Ace – a transfer from VAULT Festival going deep on the topic of asexuality
- 5th-7th May: Naughty – a comic script telling the story of a taboo relationship between a student and a teacher
In addition, Ratcliffe is using his time in charge of the King’s Head Theatre’s output to host a week-long festival of work-in-progress theatre, assisted by writer and director Rikki Beadle-Blair. In just seven days, there’ll be 15 new plays written by some of the newest LGBTQ+ playwrights.
Ratcliffe said, “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.”
For the full programme of Tom Ratcliffe’s season and to buy tickets, head to kingsheadtheatre.com.