GT Stage

New play Breeders:

Ben Ockrent’s new play, Breeders, is certainly unique…

It’s not often you get the proposition to impregnate somebody else’s lesbian girlfriend. However it’s something writer Ben Ockrent and his character in new play Breeders have in common. Yes really.

There is slight variation in the two situations. For one, Ockrent was asked by his best friend while Andrea asks her brother. Yes, that sounds odd. But then we found out Andrea and her wife want a baby with both their genes and suddenly it made sense. Although still a little odd...

When GT got hold of the lovely Ben Ockrent, he spilled all the beans on both his personal situation and how that impacted his ideas for a new play…

So tell us a bit about your new play, Breeders.

It’s on at the Saint James Theatre from the beginning of September to the beginning of October. It’s a comedy basically inspired by a personal experience of mine. A while ago my best friend asked me if I would consider donating my sperm to impregnate her girlfriend [laughs]. It was certainly a shock. After a while it kind of occurred to me that it was a really fascinating context for a play.

That’s a really interesting concept for a play. it’s probably the most original one we've heard in a while...

Well the plot of the play is about a lesbian couple who desperately want a child and the most conventional family they can make. It occurs to one of them that if they ask her brother to donate his sperm to impregnate her girlfriend with, they can have a child that shares both their genes.

If there’s one thing you want audience members to walk away thinking, what would that be?

I would certainly want them to walk away thinking about why we have kids and what our responsibilities are towards them and the question if there’s such a thing as a normal family.

Going back to your new play. If you could tell people why to go and see Breeders in one sentence, what would you say?

[Laughs] Er, because I really hope if they came and saw it they’d experience a funny, recognisable experience which touches on subjects that we all recognise being parenthood, relationships and friendships.

Breeders starts 3 September at Saint James Theatre and stars Nicholas Burns, Angela Griffin, Tamzin Outhwaite, Jemima Rooper

And you can follow Ben on Twitter at @BenOckrent

Words Ben Henry, @NotAgainBen
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