Every couple will at some point ask the question: Should we have children? For Nir Paldi and George Mann, co-artistic directors of Ad Infinitum and real-life same-sex partners, it brings even more questions around issues such as adoption, surrogacy and society’s openness. Turning their conversations into the energetic and moving play No Kids, they confront the subject with humour and thought-provoking dialogues.
We catch up with the pair to see their views on “kids or no kids?”.
What inspired you to create No Kids?
We wanted to share our decision-making process with people to open up the conversation around the decision to have children. We feel that so many people take this decision without giving it enough thought, so we wanted to give space for public debate around the issues we touch upon.
What’s unique about this show?
For a start, Nir and I are both on stage, which is a first in our company’s 11-year history!
Nir Paldi: No Kids
is a fascinating discussion that is relevant for everyone. George and I are performing snippets of our life, looking at our discussions (and explosive arguments). There’s dancing, singing – and loads of Madonna…
…and new writing, comedy, movement, gender bending musical numbers, and verbatim storytelling – all blending to form a production that examines our journey. It’s a real roller coaster of emotions.
What significance does this topic hold for you?
As a gay teenager coming out in the early 90s, I had accepted my fate: I would not be able to give my mum and dad grand-kids. But the creative process of No Kids awoke something in me that I had suppressed for a long time. I realised that my lack of interest in having children was in fact a coping mechanism to protect myself because I had believed for so long that it just wouldn’t be possible.
What will you discuss in the play?
Does the human race need to reproduce less? As same-sex couples – even though we now legally can – perhaps we shouldn’t have children? What’s the impact of homophobic bullying on the decision of being parent or not? We wanted to show a couple being torn apart by the confusion.
Ultimately, our production is about love, and there’s hope too – in each other, we are seeing our potential as fathers and discovering not only a new play that we couldn’t have conceived without each other, but through a deeply personal and challenging process we glimpse the possibility of a new family.
To know whether or not we reach a conclusion you’ll need to come watch the play.
Can you describe No Kids in a few words?
Thrilling, moving, funny and meaningful!