Park births Quiet House fertility drama

Reporter: Charlotte Marshall, first published Tue 19 Apr 2016 11:59
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Award-winning playwright Gareth Farr’s real-life inspired IVF drama The Quiet House will run at the Park Theatre this summer following its world premiere in Birmingham.

The topical play will run from 7 June to 9 July and be accompanied by a one day arts festival exploring the blisteringly honest show’s fertility subject curated by former Lyric Hammersmith Executive Director and author of the bestselling book The Pursuit of Motherhood, Jessica Hepburn.

Farr, who was awarded a prestigious Bruntwood Prize for his debut play Britannia Waves The Rules, wrote The Quiet House following his own experience with fertility treatment. Centring on couple Jess and Dylan’s journey into the world of IVF, the drama explores the pair’s reaction to that now increasingly common experience of putting your faith in science and relationship through the ultimate test in the fight for a so desperately wanted family.

Speaking about his intention behind the piece, Farr explained: “I didn’t write this play as a form of therapy. I wrote it on the back of four years of fertility treatment during which I became interested in writing about something which people – particularly men – just weren’t talking about. This play is about hope. It’s about anyone who has focused so fiercely on the notion of hope, and clung to it so tightly, that it either breaks or it hardens and becomes a tangible thing.”

Tessa Walker will direct a cast including Michelle Bonard (A Wolf In Snakeskin Shoes, Tricycle Theatre) and Oliver Lansley, Artistic Director of the recently Olivier Award-nominated theatre company Les Enfants Terribles, as Jess and Dylan.

They’ll be joined by Theatre Royal Stratford East regular Allyson Ava-Brown and Tom Walker, whose parody newsreader alter ego Jonathan Pie has launched the actor and comedian to fame.

Hepburn’s accompanying festival, Fertility Fest, will arrive at the Park Theatre on 11 June, bringing together more than 20 leading writers, artists, theatre-makers, film directors and composers for a day of discussion and debate about making (and not making) babies in the modern way.