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Breeders - Angela Griffin joins cast

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

ANGELA Griffin (as Caroline) completes the cast of Ben Ockrent’s new comedy Breeders, which runs at St James Theatre from September 3 to October 4, 2014.

Griffin, who made her West End debut in 2013 in One Man, Two Guvnors at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, is well known on television for her roles in Coronation Street (Fiona Middleton), Holby City (Staff Nurse Jasmine Hopkins), Cutting It (Darcy Henshall) and Waterloo Road (Kim Campbell from 2006-2010).

Previously Posted: Initial casting has been announced for Ben Ockrent’s new comedy Breeders, part of the One Stage season for emerging producers at St James Theatre, where it runs from September 3 to October 4, 2014.

Breeders offers a fresh take on family, tradition and procreation, questioning not only why we have children, but how.

Andrea and her wife Caroline have it all: great jobs, a loving relationship and a new home. There’s just one thing missing: a baby.

Amidst the drink-sodden traditions of a family Christmas, they have an idea: if nature can’t give them a child that shares both their genes, perhaps Andrea’s under-achieving brother Jimmy can? When he and his girlfriend Sharon agree, the four are forced closer than any family expects to be. Will this be the perfect solution? Or a recipe for disaster?

Tamzin Outhwaite will play Andrea, with Jemima Rooper as Jimmy’s girlfriend Sharon and Nicholas Burns (aka Nathan Barley) as Jimmy.

Tamzin Outhwaite’s theatre credits include Raving and Di and Viv and Rose (Hampstead Theatre) and Sweet Charity and Boeing Boeing (West End). On television, she is well known for her roles in EastEnders, Red Cap and Hotel Babylon.

Jemima Rooper’s theatre credits include Blithe Spirit (Gielgud Theatre); Rachel Crabbe in the National Theatre’s One Man, Two Guvnors, which she also performed on tour, in the West End and on Broadway; the acclaimed All My Sons alongside David Suchet and Zoe Wanamaker; The Power of Yes and Her Naked Skin (National Theatre) and Me and My Girl (Sheffield Crucible), for which she received a UK Theatre Award nomination. On television, she has appeared in Atlantis (as Medusa) and A Bouquet of Barbed Wire.

Breeders will be directed by Tamara Harvey. whose credits include From Here To Eternity (Shaftesbury Theatre), In The Vale of Health (Hampstead Theatre) and The Kitchen Sink (Bush Theatre).

Ben Ockrent’s credits include the Olivier-nominated Honey for The Great Game: Afghanistan (Tricycle Theatre and US tour), Dust starring Alan Rickman (BAFTA long-list) and The Secrets (Working Title/BBC1).

Breeders was, in fact, inspired by Ockrent’s real-life experience. Talking about the story behind the comedy, he 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.”

Also at St James Theatre: Stephen Sondheim’s Marry Me A Little (July 29 to August 10, 2014; and The Hired Man, based on Melvyn Bragg’s stirring novel of Cumbrian rural and industrial working life (August 13 to August 16, 2014).