BY Maud Dromgoole

Starring: Emma Fielding & Katy Stephens

Directed by Tatty Hennessy

Set and costume by Anna Reid
Lighting by Jai Morjaria
Sound by Yvonne Gilbert
Casting by Matilda James

A co-production with Oak Theatre

Mary Barton, a pioneer of fertility treatment, thought her husband was perfect. And doesn’t every child deserve the perfect father? So Mary used her husband’s sperm to impregnate up to a thousand women, and then burnt all the records. A thousand resulting children, the ‘Barton Brood’, with no idea about their shared father. Meeting each other. Making friends. Having babies.

Maud Dromgoole’s play is inspired by the true story of Mary Barton and the Barton Brood, researched through surveys and interviews. Provocative, funny, and fascinating, it imagines a series of encounters between these unknowing half-siblings.

Emma Fielding’s roles at The RSC include Imogen in Cymbeline, Isabella in Measure for Measure and Lady Teazle in The School For Scandal. She has recently starred as Mrs Allonby in A Woman of No Importance in the West End . Other roles include Lady Macbeth in John Cairds production of Macbeth at The Almedia, Hesione Hushabye in Heartbeak House at Chichester Theatre and Sybil in Private Lives in the West End and on Broadway. Emma’s Olivier Award nominations include Best Supporting Performance in School For Scandal and Best Actress in A Supporting Role for Private Lives. In 1993 she was awarded The Critics’ Circle Theatre Award for Most Promising Newcomer for her performances in Arcadia and The School for Wives.

Katy Stephens’ extensive work for the Royal Shakespeare Company includes Rosalind in As You Like It, Tamora in Titus Andronicus, Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra, Regan in King Lear, Petruchio in Taming of the Shrew, Sarah in Mark Ravenhill’s Candide, and Joan of Arc/Margaret of Anjou in Michael Boyd’s Histories Cycle. Work for Shakespeare’s Globe includes Clytemnestra in The Oresteia, Calpurnia in Julius Caesar and Iras in Antony and Cleopatra. Katy’s awards include the WhatsOnStage Award for Best Actress in 2009 for the RSC’s Histories Cycle as well as being part of the team that won the Olivier Award for Best Ensemble Performance for the same show.

The press on Maud Dromgoole and Tatty Hennessy’s Acorn.




Maud Dromgoole is a writer whose plays have appeared at the Bunker, the Courtyard Theatre, the Arcola, Southwark Playhouse, and Tristan Bates Theatres.

Tatty Hennessy is an award-winning playwright, dramaturg and director.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. This work has not been authorized by the estates of Mary Barton or Bertold Wiesner or any of their beneficiaries, family members, relatives or other representatives.

“Alongside the production of Mary’s Babies we will be holding two post-show Q and As: on the 27th of March and the 10th of April.  And on 4th April a captioned performance, see below.

27th March. Pride Angel sponsors this  Q&A focused on the modern landscape of donor conception and the experiences of donors, recipients and donor conceived people.  This will include Nina Barnsley, director of the Donor Conception Network, and Charles Lister,  Chair of the Sperm, Egg And Embryo Donation Trust and Mary’s Babies playwright Maud Dromgoole.

4th April.  There will be a captioned performance, facilitated by StageText. If you are booking specifically
for the captioning, please note that rows D and E offer the best view of the caption – and call the box office for this booking, rather than online. (020 7287 2875)

10th April. A chance to hear from members of Mary’s Babies creative team and Nina Barnsley from the Donor Conception Network to discuss responding to the social issues surrounding donor conception on stage.”


Running time: Around 90 minutes. 


Show Times

Monday – Saturday 7.30pm Matinees Saturday 3.30pm


Tickets £30 Preview Tickets 20–21 March £15
Under 30? 100 tickets at £10 are available for under-30s.
Bookable online or by telephone – please bring proof of age to the performance. Only available until Saturday 30 March.
Concessions Available to over-60s, theatre unions, unwaged, access, students. £20
Please note that after Saturday 30 March all tickets are full price
Box Office 020 7287 2875. www.jermynstreettheatre.co.uk