Statement from Landmark Productions, Galway International Arts Festival, the Birmingham Repertory Theatre and the Donmar Warehouse
The Breakfast on Pluto creative team conducted a wide search for the lead. In addition to holding auditions in London, we reached out to the Irish transgender community through multiple channels, and auditioned a number of performers who identified as transgender for the role of Patrick/Pussy Braden.
We acknowledge that we all need to do more to support the trans community and the development of trans artists and we are looking to amplify and celebrate trans voices in other ways as part of the production.
We have been keen to ensure that trans voices have been central to the development of this new musical. A key member of the core creative team is trans, and a leading trans actor, Rebecca Root, has been production consultant since last year; her brief includes advising on script as well as the casting process. A young trans theatre-maker has been offered a placement as assistant director, and we have commissioned Lloyd (Meadhbh) Houston to curate a wraparound programme for the performances in Galway and in Dublin.
Alongside Breakfast on Pluto, an actor showcase for trans performers in collaboration with Gendered Intelligence will be held at the Donmar Warehouse. We understand how many barriers there are to trans performers in this industry. We hope the showcase will provide an opportunity for directors and casting directors and trans performers to network, and to further diversify the sector.
The Donmar is sharing its space with Gendered Intelligence for a platform performance presenting the culmination of a research project in summer 2020, Adventures in Time & Gender, and it is working with them on further opportunities for support, of which more details will be known closer to the time of the production.
In addition to the above, Birmingham Repertory Theatre is currently in conversation with Midlands-based trans organisations with the aim of building on the work we’ve presented in the past and collaborating on future artistic programming. More details will be announced closer to the time of production.