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Thursday, July 25, 2024

- From Our Supporters -

NEW play explores Grindr and disability in ANIMAL at the Park Theatre

Winner of the inaugural Through the Mill Prize and shortlisted for the Papatango Prize, Park Theatre and Hope Mill Theatre present a brand-new play, ANIMAL, exploring how disability, sexuality and lust co-exist for people who require round-the-clock assistance.

Written by Jon Bradfield (Queers, BBC4; the Above The Stag Theatre adult pantomimes) and developed by disability activist and equality trainer Josh Hepple, ANIMAL is an authentic, hilarious, and heart-breaking look at hook-up culture, navigating relationships and how they intersect with practical needs and social barriers for disabled people. The play tours to Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester, the Tobacco Factory in Bristol and Park Theatre in London. 

Christopher John-Slater (All of Us, National Theatre; The Dumping Ground, CBBC) plays David – gay, disabled and profoundly horny. David can’t eat, drink or shower by himself without an assistant, let alone the rest… Totally inexperienced and refusing to let his impairment stop him, David embarks on a sexual and romantic odyssey, armed with wit, charm and impressive nudes – although somebody else had to take them. ANIMAL looks at how one man tries to keep it casual whilst relying on completely non-casual care. Can David juggle the uncertainty of romance, the crudeness of sexting and navigating Grindr, all whilst relying on assistance? Or in the end, maybe prejudice is the biggest disability of all?
Accessibility is at the heart of ANIMAL – everyone is welcome at any performance. The performance will be an environment where people can freely express themselves and experience the show according to their needs. Additional wheelchair spaces will be available at each performance and specific relaxed or semi-relaxed performances will be available at all venues along with advance notice of any sensory triggers. There will also be audio-described, captioned and touch tour performances.

The talented cast are completed by Joshua Liburd (Dreamgirls, Savoy Theatre; The Scottsboro Boys, Young Vic), Amy Loughton (Romeo & Juliet, Southwark Playhouse; A View from the Bridge, Theatre by the Lake), Matt Ayleigh (The Importance of Being Earnest, Theatre Clwyd; Love for Love, Bristol Old Vic), Harry Singh (But I’m a Cheerleader!, Turbine Theatre) and William Oxborrow (Saving Jason, Park Theatre; Guys & Dolls, Savoy Theatre).

Ancoats Plus ★★★★★

“A fantastic play and would be well worth a second visit”.

Frankly My Dear ★★★★

“Bold, brave and brilliant, ANIMAL is a truly vital piece of theatre, driven by an exceptional cast performance”.

North West End ★★★★

“Eye opening, heart-warming and deliciously funny”

The Theatre Talk ★★★★

“Humour, grit and filth”


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