To begin with, I thought that Breeders might simply be very funny. The emotion snuck in around the edges, while asking some big questions around the motivation to bring sprogs into the world (and about how ecologically friendly babies are!).
All four actors gave great performances, but it was Jemima Rooper who killed me; she got the biggest laughs of the night with some sublime set pieces and one-liners (I won’t spoil them for you), and also brought tears to my eyes – somehow both spirited and subtle.
The foundations of the sibling relationship allows for much silliness and dramatic escalation of emotion, recognisable to anyone with a brother or sister. Breeders earns its tender beats, building the dynamics of the characters, avoiding schmaltz and taking delightful detours into moments of ridiculousness. Funny, yes, but also heartfelt and playfully provocative.
See it at St James Theatre until 4th October 2014.