This coming May, Fertility Fest – the world’s first arts festival dedicated to fertility, infertility, modern families and the science of making babies - will be back for its second edition at the Bush Theatre in London (8-13 May). This year’s festival involves over 150 artists and fertility experts across 40 events about making (and sometimes not making) babies in the modern world. You can check out the full programme and book tickets here: www.fertilityfest.com.
Pride Angel’s Erika Tranfield will be joining the discussion on The Queer Family on Sunday 13 May which also includes Olivier and Tony award-winning theatre producer Chris Harper who is a gay dad of twins conceived via surrogacy.
Fertility Fest recognizes that everyone has a fertility story whether or not they have children. The festival Founders - Gabby Vautier and Jessica Hepburn - represent two very different outcomes of the IVF journey. Gabby has IVF twins after four rounds of treatment and Jessica is still childless after eleven. Both women are passionate about improving understanding of the emotional experience of people who go on a complex journey to conceive in order to achieve better care and outcomes for everyone, whatever their story, however it ends. The festival does this by bringing the arts and science together in a week-long programme of live events, discussion, debate, support and solidarity.
Other highlights that Pride Angel followers might be particularly interested in include:
The Gift – Saturday 12 May
Playwright Maud Dromgoole (creator of Mary's Babies, the story of Mary Barton the pioneer of donor sperm insemination) and live artist Kazuko Hohki (who is still unsure whether she will ever be able to make a show out of her own incredible donor conception story) will explore the dark and the light of the gift of donation. The artists will be joined on stage by Nina Barnsley, Director of the Donation Conception Network and Professor Nicky Hudson from the Centre for Reproduction Research at De Montfort University whose academic work is currently focusing on the social, political, economic and moral configuration of egg donation in Europe.
Fertility Fight Club – Friday 11th – Saturday 13th May
In a series of events called ‘Fertility Fight Club’ acclaimed artists and fertility experts will be arguing for the things they feel passionate about. Theatre director Sarah Esdaile – a mother through egg donation will be arguing why she things ‘Mother is A Verb’; Laura Spoelstra, egg donor and former Chief Executive of the National Gamete Donation Trust will be giving a provocative talk about the fertility industry entitled ‘What’s That Got To Do With The Price of Eggs’; and acclaimed writer and theatre-maker Stella Duffy will arguing for why: ‘Yes she wanted children. But no she doesn’t want your children.’
Choices - Friday 11th and Saturday 12th May
Northern Irish writer and actress Stacey Gregg will be performing her play – Choices – which guides us through two intimates stories of women faced with the complex challenges of reproductive choice made possible by reproductive science including the decision to make a family on your own as a single woman.
Fertility Fest is for anyone and everyone. It’s for people with and without children. It’s for people in treatment and beyond it. It’s for fertility professionals and also for the general public who are interested in how the human race is (and isn’t) being made today. Whoever you are it will be engaging, entertaining and exceptionally enlightening and whilst you’re there you’ll feel part of a very special Fertility Fest family.
Tickets to the festival are priced £10 - £35 plus a wide selection of FREE events and the full programme and booking details can be found at www.fertilityfest.com