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Fertility Fest


Let’s talk about the science of making babies and modern families as the only arts festival devoted entirely to this affecting and relevant subject arrives at the Barbican for the first time. 

Through performance and panel discussions, fertility and infertility take centre stage during a four-week programme that gathers together medical experts, artists and audiences. Offering a multitude of views and voices, hear first-hand about how we conceive in the 21st century, the female and male experience, new models of family making, and breaking taboos around IVF.

Founded by influential activist and author of The Pursuit of Motherhood, Jessica Hepburn, in partnership with theatre producer Gabby VautierFertility Fest is a rare, open and collaborative platform that aims to drive social change. This third edition features the first theatre production based on Julia Leigh’s memoir Avalanche.

Presented by the Barbican and Fertility Fest

Supported by The Agora Clinic, Create Fertility, CRGH, Fertility Plus, Gennet City Fertility, Herts & Essex Fertility, IVF Matters, Lister Fertility, The London Women’s Clinic and the Wellcome Trust

Fertility Fest Heroes

11 Fertility Fest Heroes are supporting Fertility Fest 2019. They will be present throughout the festival to provide an ear, support and information to everyone that comes to an event. The heroes are Anthony Ryb, Berenice Smith, Kelly da Silva, Lesley Pyne, Nicci Fletcher, Sandra Bateman, Sarah Banks, Sarah Holland, Saskia Boujo, Sheila Lamb and Zeynep Gurtin. 

Festival programme

Part of Life Rewired

A season exploring what it means to be human when technology is changing everything


photo of maxine peake

Barbican Meets: Maxine Peake


We caught up with the team working on 'Avalanche: A Love Story' during rehearsals. Hear from Maxine Peake, director Anne-Louise Sarks and writer Julia Leigh about the creative process so far.

blonde woman speaking

Watch: Fertility Fest 2018 trailer

A look back at the trailer for Fertility Fest 2018, ahead of further announcements about the upcoming 2019 festival.


Who benefits from technological change?

'Will the robots take our jobs? Will we have more time for leisure? Who will be the winners and losers?'

Urvashi Aneja imagines four alternative futures for work in the global south, as part of our Life Rewired Reads series.