Maud Dromgoole’s new play Mary’s Babies, just opened at Jermyn Street Theatre, looks at ethical and personal choices relating to genetics, family and donor conception. During the run, two post-show discussions involving two key organisations in the field will be held to explore some of the issues raised. Time to get booking!
Mary Barton, a pioneer of fertility treatment, thought her husband was perfect. And doesn’t every child deserve the perfect father? So Mary used her husband’s sperm to impregnate up to a thousand women, and then burnt all the records. A thousand resulting children, the ‘Barton Brood’, with no idea about their shared father. Meeting each other. Making friends. Having babies.
Emma Fielding and Katy Stephens star in Mary’s Babies, a fictional tale inspired by the true story of Mary Barton and the Barton Brood. Provocative, comic, and compelling, Maud Dromgoole‘s new play imagines a series of encounters between these unknowing half-siblings.
The play was researched with the advice of the Donor Conception Network, interviews with the Barton Brood and a survey of over 200 respondents, identifying varying attitudes towards genetics, family and donor conception. Posing questions around what conception, fertility and family mean in the modern world, the two post-show Q&As will take place on 27 March and 10 April.
Mary’s Babies reunites playwright Maud Dromgoole and director Tatty Hennessy after their 2016 success with Acorn, at the Courtyard Theatre. A co-production with Oak Theatre, Mary’s Babies has set and costume by Anna Reid, lighting by Jai Morjaria, sound by Yvonne Gilbert and casting by Matilda James. Mary’s Babies is part of Jermyn Street’s Portraits Season, celebrating the venue’s 25th birthday as an independent theatre in the heart of the West End.
Wednesday 27 March 2019
Pride Angel sponsors this Q&A focused on the modern landscape of donor conception and the experiences of donors, recipients and donor-conceived people. This will include Nina Barnsley, director of the Donor Conception Network, and Charles Lister, Chair of the Sperm, Egg and Embryo Donation Trust along with Mary’s Babies playwright Maud Dromgoole.
Founded in 2009, Pride Angel is dedicated to connecting sperm donors, egg donors and co-parents. The Pride Angel website allows users to create their own profiles, search thousands of members and communicate safely. Fertility support, health screening and legal advice are also provided.
Wednesday 10 April 2019
Mary’s Babies, a co-production with Oak Theatre, is directed by Tatty Hennessy and designed by Anna Reid, with lighting by Jai Morjaria, sound by Yvonne Gilbert. This event is a chance to hear from members of the creative team and Nina Barnsley from the Donor Conception Network to discuss responding to the social issues surrounding donor conception on stage.
The Donor Conception Network, a membership organisation and registered charity, offers a wide range of activities, events and resources that enable families and individuals to contact one another as well as specialist support, local volunteer groups, preparation workshops and two major conferences each year.
Mary’s Babies runs from 20 March to 13 April 2019 at Jermyn Street Theatre, 16b Jermyn Street, London SW1Y 6ST, with performances Mondays to Saturdays at 7.30pm, with Saturday matinees at 3.30pm. There will also be a captioned performance on Thursday 4 April. Tickets are priced £10-£30. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!