Barry McStay
Gabriella Sills Productions and James Seabright in association with Mark Gatiss
King's Head Theatre, Islington

Listing details and ticket info...

Zeb (Dan Nicholson) and Eoin (Barry McStay) Credit: Ed Rees
Nemide May as Beth Credit: Ed Rees
Zeb (Dan Nicholson)and Nemide May as Beth Credit: Ed Rees

Too often, gay people are subjected to special scrutiny as if somehow their sexual preference diminishes their ability to carry out social tasks.

The married gay couple Zeb (Dan Nicholson) and Eoin (Barry McStay) will inevitably be conscious of that when they decide to adopt a child.

No wonder Zeb in particular is triggered by the stupid and prejudiced remarks of someone in a class they attend to prepare them for parenthood. “That man called us groomers, Beth!” Zeb exclaims to the social worker who is monitoring their progress.

Beth opens the show as the narrator, recalling the oddness of their names when she was allocated their application to adopt. She guides them through the UK institutional requirements for prospective parents initially as a remote professional reluctant to cross boundaries into revealing her own life, until that approach softens when she lets slip that she is hoping to be pregnant with a child.

Social prejudice and the necessary safeguarding procedures involved in the adoption process are not the only difficulties they face. Becoming a parent is a big step, and Zeb hasn’t for a long time spoken to Eoin about his reservations. It will become a testing time for their relationship.

Zeb is the least settled of the marriage partners. He says he was raised as a nudist, would still like to do sexual threesomes, revels in pornography and wants Eoin to take drugs with him. He tells Beth, “I’ll be Fun Daddy, Eoin will be Serious Daddy.”

He also has a secret problem, which emerges halfway through the show.

Eoin is keen to be a father, seems to be the worrier, wants a tidy house and tries to answer all questions carefully.

The show delivers serious themes with quick, amusing dialogue that resembles a gentle situational comedy. You might wish for greater depth of character, and some of it, particularly the ending, can feel a bit far-fetched, but it is always engaging, sensitive and thoughtful.

Reviewer: Keith Mckenna

*Some links, including Amazon,,, ATG Tickets, LOVEtheatre, BTG Tickets, Ticketmaster, LW Theatres and QuayTickets, are affiliate links for which BTG may earn a small fee at no extra cost to the purchaser.

Are you sure?