Mating in Captivity at the King’s Head Theatre: Review by Stephen Vowles 

Writer Oliver Page’s play is full of amusing pleasant surprises due to the fact that it has been very well cast with the three actors – Rowland Stirling as Rob, Jane Christie as Annie and Jacob played by George Rennie – completely in sync with each other showing a total mastery of comic timing and clearly relishing their respective parts. 

Director Ed Theakston understands the need to create the ‘set up’ of a gag so when the punch line is delivered it gets the laugh it deserves. Quips such as “It’s like D-Day in here, I just wanted a nice day at the beach” being a very good example. The screwball aspect of this play plays homage to the comedies of 30’s and 40’s Hollywood and British Whitehall farce.

This is a modern and enormously funny look at sexual chemistry and desire with subtle references to sexploitation, the effects of intimacy, the panic felt by falling in love and the need to satisfy your partner by discovering and then working their erogenous zones. 

Page does also ‘go there’ injecting comedy moments based around cancer and even swallowing semen – and that to be pleasant and nice can cost. The ménage à trois story works and its uproarious quality will have you grabbing your tummy and reeling with delight. 

This hip and slick production – making its European premiere – is a hit because the creative team have come together with a passionate desire to achieve something rather exciting, and they have done this with ease. An exceptional and joyous production forming part of this year’s inventive and playful Queer Season at the King’s Head.


Mating in Captivity runs to 4 August at the King’s Head Theatre, 115 Upper Street, Islington N1 1QN. Box office: 020 7226 8561

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