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Tamzin Outhwaite leads Breeders

Published 7 July 2014

Tamzin Outhwaite will star alongside Jemima Rooper in Ben Ockrent’s new comedy Breeders when it opens at the St James Theatre as part of the One Stage season in September.

Former EastEnders actress Outhwaite, who was last seen on the London stage in Raving at the Hampstead Theatre, will take on the role of Andrea in the tale about a same-sex couple’s quest to have a child that shares both of their DNA.

Rooper, who most recently appeared on stage in the Angela Lansbury-led production of Blithe Spirit at the Gielgud Theatre and whose credits also include the West End production of One Man, Two Guvnors, will play the girlfriend of Andrea’s brother Jimmy. Jimmy will be played in the production, which runs at the Victoria venue from 3 September to 4 October, by Nicholas Burns, who is best known for playing the title role in Channel 4’s Nathan Barley.

Breeders is directed by Tamara Harvey and inspired by Ockrent’s real-life experience. Talking about the story behind the comedy, the Olivier Award nominated playwright said: “Some years ago, when a good friend asked me to donate my sperm for her and her girlfriend to conceive a child with, I was struck by the scale of the decision. Whilst I had every confidence in their ability to parent, it felt like there was an almost unfeasible amount riding on my answer. So, after they granted me some thinking time – years, as it turned out – it occurred to me that my wrangling could be an interesting set-up for a play. Discussing it with the couple over dinner, the story for Breeders (a quite different one to ours) emerged.”

The production will play as part of the new One Stage season, an initiative set up by theatrical charity Stage One, which is committed to supporting producers for the commercial theatre industry.

Breeders kicks off the season, which will also see Anya Reiss’ new version of Uncle Vanya and Blanche McIntyre’s production of Accolade play at the venue later in the autumn. Full casting for Breeders is still to be announced.


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