A young couple considers parenthood. They want to have a child for the right reasons. But, in a time of global anxiety, erratic weather and political unrest, what exactly are the right reasons?
"A woundingly intense two-hander…It is the most beautiful, quietly shattering play of the year." ***** - The Express
Run time: 90 minutes, no interval
Please note: The show begins at 8pm / 4pm promptly and latecomers will not be admitted. Please arrive before 8pm / 4pm otherwise we cannot guarantee entry.
Some performances include a Post-Show Talk and Q&A with a Special Guest (30-45 minutes). Check dates on booking page for details.
Recommended for those aged 12 and over.
Please note: the performance contains strong language and themes that some audience members may find upsetting.
Bus: Parc or de Berlaimont
Parking: Indigo Royal, Rue de Ligne 25, 1000 Bruxelles
We have partnered with Poppy to give €10 of free credit on Poppy for every ticket buyer to use before and after the show. A promo code will be emailed to you a day before your booking date.
Kate McGregor, Director of Lungs
Ellora-Julie Parekh, ESG strategy consultant and Waleed Zaman, global textile family business:
Europe’s role in the fashion industry’s path to sustainability
Mercedes Sanchez Varela, ChapterZero Brussels board member and sustainability strategy consultant: How committed are businesses to boldly engage on their sustainability journey?
Maurice Johnson-Kanyonga, psychologist, coach and education expert:
Climate Anxiety in young people
Audrey-Flore Ngomsik, CEO Trianon Scientific Communication, and President of the Brussels Binder:
Is it still responsible & sustainable to have a child?: A climate expert view on parenthood
Q&A with the cast of Lungs
Doreen Fedrigo, Industrial Transformation Policy Coordinator at Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe:
System change, not climate change: from personal activism to pressure on the system
Audrey Contesse, Director of ICA-WB (Institut Culturel d’Architecture Wallonie-Bruxelles):
Towards a regenerative approach to architecture.
Hülya Ertas, Curator at VAl (Flanders Architecture Institute):
Caring for the planet: radical change vs reform?
Article originally written for the Studio Theatre 2011 production of Lungs.
A few things happened last year. I turned 30, I got engaged, I got a mortgage, and I got a proper job. The baby conversation was next, and this is something that I was very conscious of at the time of writing. We have a cat now, who we occasionally refer to as either ‘baby practice’ or ‘baby substitute’. Time will tell which she’ll ultimately be. She is asleep on my lap as I write this.
I’d been struggling for a long time to find a way to write about some of the bigger issues facing our species, unable to distil my research, concerns, and questions into a pinpoint, compelling dramatic metaphor. I’d also been working on a large-scale play for The Old Vic for about three years, a six-act epic called Transatlantic which begins in a wheat field in Norfolk on the eve of the US joining the Allied war effort and ends in the present day with the estranged family returning to the farm for a funeral. It’s an enormous project with lots of huge themes and a cast of about two hundred characters. I wanted to take a break from that and write a play that was direct, clear, fast, fun, and most importantly, stylistically more pared-back. I wanted to write something for two really good actors where they could tell a story unmediated by props, scene changes, costume changes, mime, lighting or sound queues, just two bodies in space, letting the audience fill in the gaps. It seems appropriate somehow that the play is as ‘carbon-neutral’ as possible. I also felt that the playfulness of the form would help to make some of the more troubling issues more palatable. I wanted the audience to feel as if they were eavesdropping on a very private conversation between two thoughtful, educated, middle-class people who are struggling to do the right thing. I wanted to write a play which was dramatically active but where the narrative isn’t compelled by unravelling a lie or a secret. For me, drama is about live decision making. There are no secrets, everything pours out of them, uncensored, impulsive, raw.
Although it’s not a true story, I’m sure writing Lungs was a way for me to articulate a number of anxieties I was subconsciously having about turning 30, considering parenthood and the state of the world. I wrote the first draft very quickly, I started first thing in the morning and by midnight I’d got to the end. I read it out with my wife-to-be then we spent the rest of the night (and much of the time since) having a very intense conversation. The play was written very quickly and without any planning. The play felt bigger than I’d intended it to, going beyond just the central question of whether or not to become parents. Only when I heard it read back did I realise all the research I’d been doing, particularly to do with climate change, had made its way into the play.
Georgina trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts and is an alumni of the National Youth Theatre.
Theatre credits include: The Cracks (The Criterion Theatre), Penetration (The Cockpit Theatre), She’s Fit Just Kiss Her (Southwark Playhouse), Lover, Whore or Handmaiden (Tristan Bates), Who I Could’ve Been (The Space), Hummingbird (Lion and Unicorn Theatre), Parlour Games (Bridewell Theatre), Hunchback of Notre Dame (Durham Cathedral). Film credits include: Mr Malcolm’s List, A Little Ignorance, The Plunge and Fair Trade.
Tim trained at the Guildhall School Of Music & Drama.
He recently finished working on the feature film Hoard (BBC/BFI), as well as Amrou Al-Kadhi’s debut feature Layla (Film 4/Fox Club). Other TV/Film work includes Doctors (BBC), Redefining Juliet, Dagenham (Brit It Films), Adored and Turtle Boy.
Theatre credits: Park Bench (Park Theatre), It Is Now (AIAW), Twelfth Night (The Scoop), Taming Of The Shrew (Arts Theatre), Redefining Juliet (Barbican), Hamlet (Changeling Theatre), The Teenagers (HighTide), A Local Boy (Invertigo), Philip Ridley’s revival of Vincent River (The Pleasance), A Marked Man (HighTide) and Outside On The Street (The Pleasance Jack Dome).
Tim was runner up in The 2016 Monologue Slam UK Winners Edition.
Duncan Macmillan is an English playwright and director. He is most noted for his plays Lungs, People, Places and Things, Every Brilliant Thing, and the stage adaptation of the George Orwell novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, which he co-adapted and co-directed with Robert Icke.
Macmillan's play Lungs had a major revival at the Old Vic Theatre in 2019, starring Matt Smith and Claire Foy.
Macmillan co-created and wrote the 2020 BBC television drama series Trigonometry with Effie Woods.
Kate is Artistic Director of award-winning Theatre6 and winner of the Noel Coward Trainee Director Bursary 2012 at The Salisbury Playhouse. She is represented by Alix Harvey- Thompson at Harvey-Thompson Ltd.
Kate trained on the Chicago Director's Lab, at the National Theatre Studio and on the Postgraduate Director's Course at Drama Studio London. She has a First Class BA Honours degree from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, in Drama, Applied Theatre and Education.
Kate is based in Bristol, Somerset. She makes magical, visually powerful drama, often with live original music. Kate enjoys telling extraordinary stories about ordinary people in brave and imaginative ways. She founded Theatre6 in 2009, leading the company to win the Evening Standard Award for Best Musical for The Scottsboro Boys in 2014. Two of her shows have been short-listed by Time Out for Fringe Show of the Year.
In 2022 and 2021 Kate directed, adapted and produced the world premiere adaptation of Dickens 'Great Expectations' called Estella which toured to Trinity Theatre, Thorington Theatre, Trebah Garden, Rondo Theatre Bath, Brighton Open Air Theatre and the Omnibus in Clapham. Kate's direction of Jane Austen's Persuasion toured to audiences across the UK. In 2017, she directed two major productions: Moira Buffini's Gabriel, staring Paul McGann and Belinda Lang, touring to to Richmond Theatre, Windsor Theatre Royal, Liverpool Playhouse, Theatre Clywd and Yvonne Arnaud in Guildford. The Lost Boy, written by Stephanie Dale was produced by Theatre-in-the Quarter in Chester. Both shows received substantial critical acclaim from national press.
Kate regularly adapts novels for the stage and works as a dramaturg in the UK and internationally. Kate's first piece of original writing, new musical, Moments, was co-created with Theatre6 Resident Composer Maria Haik Escudero and showcased at Chichester Festival Theatre.
Kate firmly believes in the power of theatre to tell unheard stories and empower young people and adults alike. She has worked as a coordinator, project manager and director for many organisations including Shakespeare's Globe, Shakespeare Schools Foundation and Ambassador Theatre Group. She is a staff director at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts and Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.
Charlotte is a freelance set and costume designer based in the UK.
Since graduating from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in 2017 her credits include; Estella (Theatre6), Charlie Chaplin (Arrows and Traps), Macbeth (Bristol Old Vic Theatre School), Macbeth (The Shakespeare Project), Jekyll and Hyde (Arrows and Traps), Boomtown Springs 2019, Rudolf (Pins and Needles Production), Boudica (Theatre Royal Bath Theatre School), Persuasion (Theatre6), Vanity Fair (TRB Summer Company), Punk Rock (Bristol Old Vic Young Company).
She has a particular passion for site specific events, bringing theatre to unusual spaces, reaching new audiences and bringing elements of the outside in. Charlotte loves the challenge of working with a space to enhance or transform it. Her work often explores themes on environmental impact, strong female characters, and an offbeat twist.
As a practical designer, having previously studied jewellery design and worked as a Goldsmith, Charlotte has a hands on approach often creating costumes, props and scenic art work for her shows. She still makes jewellery collections and bespoke pieces for clients and theatrical shows, including the Spice Girls World Tour 2019 and SIX the musical.
Stef is photographer, sound designer , photographer and recording engineer.
His sound designs are often acoustic extensions of visual arts or theatrical performances. He has created soundscapes for exhibitions of photographer Stephan Vanfleteren, performances of the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra and Flemish Radio Choir, and theatre maker Kris Verdonck, as well as for his own work as a photographer.
Minimalism, organic textures and the use of ‘found’ sounds are at the core of Stef's sonic works. They aim to create an acoustic ‘presence’ as another dimension of the visual context – rather than being a standalone musical dimension parallel to the visual. Most of his soundscapes are created with surround sound which adds to this extra dimension.
Stef is also a recording engineer, having recorded and mixed more than 2,500 concerts as the resident recording engineer at the Ancienne Belgique concert hall in Brussels for artists such as Iggy Pop, Faithless, Roisin Murphy, Serge Lama and many others.
Marco is a freelance lighting designer based in Brussels.
He started working in the theatre in his native city Milano, where he worked in the production office of Teatro Franco Parenti and as an assistant technical manager at some theatre festivals. He moved then to Ireland, where he graduated in Drama and Theatre at Trinity College Dublin, with a
specialisation in lighting design. After graduation, he worked as a lighting designer with several Irish theatre companies.
He moved to Belgium in 2013. Here he has worked as a lighting designer, lighting operator and programmer
with numerous theatre and dance companies (Ehsan Hemat, La Troupe du Possible, Théâtre Le Public, Cie
Thor, Infini Théâtre, Théâtre Poème, Théâtre 140, Théâtre de l'Ancre, Théâtre Le Manège, Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Ismail Akhlal, Cie Droit Dans Le Mur) as well as creating the lighting for
installations, events and concerts.
In his lighting designs Marco looks for symmetry and perfection, as well as for those elements that can surprise and disorientate the viewer, adding new elements to the dramaturgy of a theatre piece.
Production Manager: Steve Bree
Stage Manager: Alex Hobbs
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